The OURVOICE impact system is a whole-community solution to hunger. By harnessing the resources and potential that every town shares, it provides a dynamic, customized support network that activates and organizes the spirit of change. The result is a community-driven system to end hunger by providing scalable tools for resolving the root causes and consequent toll of hunger and poverty in communities across the country.
OURVOICE is a proven concept backed by over a decade of experience, research, testing, and measurable positive results. The system was initially developed for humanitarian relief efforts in combat zones in Iraq, then further developed and tested in the hunger space through an alliance with Feeding America in Ventura, California.
The OURVOICE impact system creates a whole-community solution to hunger. OURVOICE integrates proprietary mobile applications, interactive kiosks, qualitative and quantitative research, and advanced media techniques to create long-term, community-based solutions to hunger.
The OURVOICE system is now being implemented in Los Alamos, California, a rural farming community of about 1600 people near Santa Barbara. We chose Los Alamos because it is representative of towns across the country, with both the problems and the promise found in every American community. While much of the town is stable and growing, a third of its population is still food insecure.
OURVOICE will be partnering with two non-profits, The Los Alamos Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation, to shore up the existing hunger alleviating programs, help identify specific needs, and implement a needs-based matchmaking system that utilizes existing assets within the community. Once the system is established, creating durable and measurable solutions it will then be scaled to towns and communities in need nationwide.
A full, comprehensive OURVOICE system deck is available to download here
After thorough research into its demographics and history, the city of Los Alamos, California was selected as the initial launch location of the OurVoice system. In order to establish a strategic and replicable system, our team put together a plan of action that includes a project plan, budgets, timelines, staffing, alliances, and media production plan.
We met with stakeholders and community leaders in order to understand the needs of the Los Alamos Foundation, a local non-profit organization with a mission to help the residents of Los Alamos climb out of poverty. With their help, we were able to gain further insight into the core needs of the low income community and researched and produced an initial community needs and action plan document.
In hopes of creating additional income opportunities for the residents of Los Alamos, our team successfully launched a social media and outreach campaign to fund Summer in the Park, a free daytime care program that allows parents to take on employment through the summer while knowing their children are safe, nourished, and supported. Summer in the Park not only offers a way for children to socialize and learn new skills, but also provides job opportunities and leadership skills for local teenagers. Additionally, our team is in the initial stages of building technology systems for “root needs” data gathering in the low-income community that will be scalable to communities across the nation.
The OURVOICE system will harness the resources and empower the leadership already present in Los Alamos, bringing the town together and providing a dynamic support network that activates and organizes the spirit of change. Through specialized technology and media applications, needs are identified and correlated with appropriate resources. Meanwhile, barriers to full community engagement, like bias and lack of awareness, are addressed and resolved. The result is a uniquely effective philanthropic matchmaking system and a resilient community safety net.
OURVOICE is scalable to every community because it harnesses the potential that every town shares: the will to help. What’s missing is awareness, motivation, and the tools to make a difference and see real, measurable results. The OURVOICE system bridges the gaps and provides a customized network that brings everyone together for the benefit of the whole. Once proof of concept is established in Los Alamos, the system will be expanded to communities across the nation.
Media actions promoting awareness and understanding are a key component of the system because hunger isn’t obvious–it lives in the shadows and on the edges, working the night shift and laboring behind the scenes.
Although largely unseen, in many ways the poor are the pillars of society: they provide the crucial support structure that keeps everything running. Without them, no community can function. When left to languish, no community can thrive. But when the needs of the hungry are met, the whole town is strengthened.