OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Food subscription + Food insurance

Families subscribe to a monthly plan of healthy and varied food. They pay a fixed daily fee and get a box of food every day. The bulk-buying savings are saved in a food insurance fund, guaranteeing a proper nutrition for the family even in hard times. **Updated with the ideas in the comments**

Photo of Victor Perl
45 44

Written by

People in low income communities tend to buy the food for the day. This is more expensive (+35%) than buying the food in bulk and leads to monotonous and unhealthy food choices, such as candies and carbs.

The idea is for a social business to create a fixed monthly menu families can subscribe to. Families pay daily and get a box with food every day.

The savings from buying the food in bulk (around 35%) can be saved in a food insurance fund that can be used to guarantee proper food for the family when they can't pay for it.

How do you envision this idea making money?

People pays a daily fee to the social business and gets a box of food for the household according to a monthly fixed menu. Because the menu is fixed, the social business can buy the food in bulk, which is ~35% cheaper than buying single-day quantities. The savings will be put in a food insurance fund. This fund can be used by the household when they can't pay for food, for example, when the worker of the family is ill or unemployed, guaranteeing a proper nutrition of the family even in hard times. The money in the food insurance funds can be reinvested in the community, for example, as micro-lending to local entrepreneurs.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

This idea creates social impact in three ways: 1. By using collective buying power, low-income families have access to better food at cheaper prices. 2. By using a well-designed fixed menu you can assure that the families are eating well (nutritive and varied food) 3. With the food insurance fund you can guarantee that the family will keep eating well even if they don't have money. 4. The box itself can be reusable and used as a channel for nutritional education by, for example, including recipes and tips in the box (Thanks Timothy & Juan)

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

It gives the low-income families a way to eat better without spending more money and guaranteeing that they will keep eating well even if they don't have money to buy food. The money in the food insurance funds can be re-invested in the community through a micro-finance program. The logistics can be designed to maximize the positive impact in the local economy while being efficient by, for example, having a central distribution center (economies of scale, jobs) and turning local shops in distribution centers (Thanks Timothy, Luz Alba & Srinivasan). Food can be sourced from local small farms. (Thanks LilNinja)

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

Just get two or three families that agree in a healthy fixed menu and negotiate a bulk-price with a local supermarket.

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. How well do you think this concept considers life in low-income communities?

It is highly relevant to low-income communities - 90%

It is somewhat relevant to low-income communities - 0%

It does not significantly consider low-income communities - 10%

2. How effectively does this concept use social business principles (that is, it has social benefits for the community but does not pay dividends?)

This concept uses social business principles very well - 75%

This concept could be easily modified to incorporate social business elements - 12.5%

This concept does not connect with social business very well - 12.5%

3. How easy would it be to implement this concept?

Easy! This could be started immediately - 57.1%

It would take some time and planning – but I bet I could see progress in the near future - 42.9%

This concept would need extensive planning, partnerships & resources in place to get going - 0%

4. To what extent will this concept improve people’s health?

This concept would significantly improve people’s health and wellbeing - 62.5%

This concept seems like it might improve health, although maybe indirectly - 25%

This concept doesn’t really have much to do with health - 12.5%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world! - 70%

I liked it but preferred others - 20%

It didn’t get me overly excited - 10%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Youngkoun Choi

That's awesome!

View all comments