How Local Government is Innovating to Address Food Insecurity in COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the number of food-insecure people in the country has topped 37 million. Many are facing growing challenges to access food due to the skyrocketing unemployment numbers, shelter in place orders, and increased vulnerability to illness. However, many governments are jumping into action to ensure that the most food insecure in their communities have the resources they need to get access to nutritious meals. While barriers around applications, online ordering, and delivery still remain a challenge, government leaders in Washington D.C., in partnership with USDR and DC Greens, have delivered produce boxes to residents—receiving over 1,500 orders in the first 24 hours. This innovation has helped local wholesaler businesses to get back on their feet by increasing their customer base with direct-to-consumer sales and to create jobs by generating a need for delivery drivers. Join us to learn how governments across the country are innovating to improve food security during the pandemic.


Caroline Howe

Sustainable DC Programs Analyst,
Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)

Caitlin Docker

Associate Program Director, GetCalFresh,
Code for America

Ryan Rowe

Volunteer, U.S. Digital Response
(Bexar County, DC, Dallas Tulsa)


Jessica Cole

Projects Lead, U.S. Digital Response

Emily Edmonds

National Programs Director, ELGL

past event: FRIDAY, August 7 | 1 PM PDT / 4 PM EDT

How Seattle Used Human-Centered Design to Increase COVID-19 Testing

Discover how the City of Seattle used human-centered design to expand COVID-19 testing for its nearly 1 million residents.

In partnership with the University of Washington, U.S. Digital Response, and Solv Health, Seattle has been able to take a data-driven approach to reopening in a way that enables the city to identify new COVID-19 cases earlier and minimize spread. Seattle is currently able to process seven patients every five minutes. Since the launch of this new initiative, Seattle has received over 1,200 rave reviews on the program from residents on the efficiency, ease of scheduling, and experience at testing sites.

Earlier this year, Seattle leveled up its What Works Cities Certification — an achievement that recognizes the most well-managed, data-driven local governments in the country — from silver to gold, making it one of only six cities in the nation to achieve this distinction at the gold level.



Leah Tivoli

Office of Innovation & Performance, City of Seattle

Noah Hoffman

Assistant Professor, UW School of Medicine

Lauren Tien

Product Analyst, Solv Health

Brian Wallace

EMS Training Coordinator, City of Seattle

Janette Fong

Projects Lead, U.S. Digital Response


Jennifer Pahlka

Co-founder, U.S. Digital Response

Lauren Su

Associate Director, Certification & Community, What Works Cities


How Cities are Tapping Into Volunteers and Non-profits to Deliver Services at Scale

Learn how Paterson, NJ and Concord, CA partnered with volunteer/mutual aid networks & nonprofits such as Meals on Wheels to extend services.

Communities’ needs changed in the blink of an eye due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some cities were able to adapt quickly and extend their service offerings to immediately meet the needs of their residents.

This panel will include recommendations on how cities and nonprofits can partner to improve service delivery and leverage digital platforms to engage volunteer networks and scale recovery efforts.


André Sayegh

Mayor, City of Paterson

Tim McGallian

Mayor, City of Conord

Caitlin Sly

Executive Director, Meals on Wheels Diablo Region

Harsha Mallajosyula

Chief Data Officer, City of Paterson

Jessica Cole

Projects Lead, U.S. Digital Response