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Global Youth Hackathon on Food Waste (USD 500 to 3500 prize range)

Global Youth Hackathon on Food Waste (USD 500 to 3500 prize range)

Food waste is a critical issue, with 13% of all food produced for human consumption lost and 19% wasted at retail and consumer levels. In 2023, around 735 million people faced hunger, 2.4 billion experienced moderate to severe food insecurity, and over 3.1 billion lacked access to healthy diets. Addressing food waste is essential, and involves efforts from consumers, businesses, governments, and institutions to implement preventative, rescue, and recycling measures.


To tackle this pressing issue, the World Food Forum (WFF) and KidsforSDGs are organizing the Global Youth Hackathon on Food Waste. This event aims to engage young people in developing innovative, community-based solutions to reduce food waste. Participants will collaborate, receive mentorship, and refine their proposals to create actionable initiatives that can significantly impact their communities.


The hackathon is structured in multiple stages to ensure comprehensive support and development of participants’ proposals:

  1. Submission of Applications (June 3-30, 2024):
    • Young individuals or teams (up to five members) aged 18-35 can submit preliminary proposals online.
    • Proposals will be reviewed based on creativity, feasibility, impact, and scalability.
  2. Selection of Participants (July 1-9, 2024):
    • A panel of evaluators from WFF, KidsforSDGs, and technical experts will select the top 15 proposals.
    • Selected participants will receive instructions for pre-hackathon mentorship and hackathon day.
  3. Pre-Hackathon Mentorship (July 10-24, 2024):
    • Each project is paired with a mentor from a pool of food waste experts.
    • Two live online mentorship sessions will be conducted to help participants shape their projects and refine their pitches.
  4. Hackathon (Week of July 29, 2024):
    • Participants will pitch their projects to hackathon judges in breakout rooms.
    • Judges will provide immediate feedback and select the final five projects for further development.
  5. Proposal Improvement and Re-Submission (Post-Hackathon to August 11, 2024):
    • Contestants will revise their proposals based on feedback, including a detailed budget.
  6. Selection of Top Five Finalists (August 12-25, 2024):
    • The same panel of judges will re-assess proposals and select the top five projects.
    • Finalists will receive additional mentoring to prepare for live pitch presentations.
  7. Post-Hackathon Mentorship (August 26, 2024, to WFF Flagship Event):
    • Finalists will continue refining their proposals with mentor support.
  8. Live Pitch Presentations and Winner Selection (October 2024, WFF Flagship Event):
    • Finalists present their pitches to a new panel of judges and a live audience.
    • Two winning projects will be awarded prizes between USD 500 and 3,500.

Application Criteria

Applicants’ proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Creative and novel solutions to food waste challenges.
  • Feasibility: Detailed implementation plans demonstrating practicality and resourcefulness.
  • Impact: Addressing specific food waste issues in their communities with a clear vision for potential results.
  • Scalability: Potential for growth beyond the initial implementation phase, adaptability to different settings, and sustainability.

A structured evaluation framework ensures thorough and fair assessment, guiding the selection of proposals poised to make a meaningful impact on combating food waste at a community scale.

Competition Structure

  • Application Submission: June 3-30, 2024
  • Participant Selection: July 1-9, 2024
  • Pre-Hackathon Mentorship: July 10-24, 2024
  • Hackathon: Week of July 29, 2024
  • Proposal Improvement and Re-Submission: Post-Hackathon to August 11, 2024
  • Selection of Top Five Finalists: August 12-25, 2024
  • Post-Hackathon Mentorship: August 26, 2024, to WFF Flagship Event
  • Live Pitch Presentations and Winner Selection: October 2024

Join the Global Youth Hackathon on Food Waste

If you’re passionate about addressing food waste and making a positive impact in your community, express your interest and submit your proposal.

Application Form: Click Here to Apply

Application Deadline: 30 June 2024

Note: For the purposes of this activity, ‘’community’’ is defined using the UN Community Engagement Guidelines (2020): “…a geographical subset of society at the local level, …community can be defined by commonalities such as, but not limited to, norms, religion, shared interests, customs, values, and needs of civilians.”