The Chicago Innovation Awards recognized the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Thierer Family Foundation for the technology solution we created to better connect our neighbors with food programs that meet their needs.
The Food Depository and the Thierer Family Foundation received a 2022 Social Innovator Award. We are among winners in 20 categories recognizing the most innovative new products and services from the Chicago region. The product we co-developed, named Vivery, is an online search tool that helps people at risk of food insecurity locate food pantries, meal programs and other support services.
We launched Vivery on our website in 2021 and continue to upgrade the tool with new features based on community input and analytics. From the beginning, Vivery was developed to meet the unique challenges of our neighbors navigating the food assistance ecosystem. It is a vast improvement over past tools that were limited to a simple zip code or address search. Vivery is mobile optimized and uses powerful search filters to identify programs that best fit the individual or family’s needs, such as hours of service or the languages spoken at a distribution. It is fully functional in both English and Spanish.
The Thierer Family Foundation was a tremendous partner in this project, and we are incredibly proud to receive a Chicago Innovation Award alongside them. Since launching Vivery with the Food Depository, the Thierer Family Foundation has been working with other Illinois food banks to implement this solution in their service areas. Last month, Thierer Family Foundation announced that Vivery is now available to all U.S. food banks.
We are humbled to be recognized by the Chicago Innovation Awards and look forward to the continued impact of our partnership with the Thierer Family Foundation.
Thank you to the Food Depository staff and supporters who made it possible for us to continue our daily work of distributing food while innovating to end hunger and its root causes.