March 2019 — An extraordinary gift from philanthropist-entrepreneur Ryan D. “Jume” Jumonville of United Networks of America has established the “Gamechangers Laboratory,” a groundbreaking initiative from the Wallace Center at Winrock International.
Through collaborations and convenings, the Gamechangers Laboratory will catalyze breakthrough ideas, strategies and innovations in community-based food systems as they expand access to good food. The initiative will leverage the power of the Food Systems Leadership Network (FSLN), a fast-growing group of almost 2,000 food systems leaders from all 50 states supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
“This is a critical time for food security in America,” Jumonville said. “I believe deeply in the power of community and the importance of food access for all people. I am proud to support the creation of the Gamechangers Laboratory as part of my Giving Pledge and to encourage other donors to support this incredibly innovative effort.”
In this inaugural year, the Gamechangers Laboratory will award grants and technical support to community-based leaders, organizations and multidisciplinary teams working to address intractable obstacles to sustainable, community-based food systems. The initiative will provide participants with space, time and financial resources to design, incubate and pilot innovative approaches to advance food systems change.
“We are deeply honored to announce this incredible gift from Mr. Jumonville,” said Rodney Ferguson, CEO of Winrock International. “His passion for creating a world where no child is hungry aligns perfectly with the missions of Winrock International and the Wallace Center. We are humbled by his willingness to break new ground with us and grateful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for their continued support of the Food Systems Leadership Network, on which this effort will flourish.”
“We recognize that despite strong collective efforts, there are still great barriers to solving the underlying drivers of food insecurity, inequity and poverty,” said program officer Susan Schempf. “Just as innovative high-tech startup leaders need time to examine the systems they seek to shift, consider the bigger picture, and get creative in their problem-solving, so too do community food systems leaders. The Gamechangers Lab will provide that opportunity.”