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Dane County Announces 2019 Partners in Equity Food Grant Recipients

March 29, 2019
Ariana Vruwink 608-267-8823
County Executive

MADISON – Eight local agencies have been selected to receive the Tamara D. Grigsby Office of Equity and Inclusion’s 2018 Partners in Equity (PIE) Grants, including the first PIE – Food grant in partnership with the Dane County Food Council, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


“We are honored to partner with this year’s grant recipients to address shared challenges in our community and increase opportunity,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This  year’s recipients are taking on initiatives that strive to achieve equity in Dane County, and we are excited to partner with them.”


County Board Supervisor Carl T. Chenoweth stated, “I find this PIE – Food Grant program to be an excellent opportunity for the community to use public resources in addressing access to safe and healthy food to all its citizens.  As a member of the Dane County Food Council for the past 4 years, I am excited to be part of this second year grant program and hope to be able to continue to sustain the support; along with the direction of the Food Council and County Board of Supervisors.”


Eight agencies were selected to receive a PIE Food grant for proposals intended to address issues related to healthy food access, access to land for growing food, or issues related to food waste and recovery.


Cambodia Buddhist Temple Society of Wisconsin, Inc. will receive $4,000 for their Food Pantry Project. The project will provide services to the Cambodian Community who are low income or in poverty and allow the community to come together to build better healthy living. Participants will learn how to communicate through healthy eating and be able to engage with one another as a community. The grant will provide services to about 200 families.


Community GroundWorks, Inc. (CWG) will receive $4,000. This project will serve the Hmong growers at the Westport Community Farm. The growers will participate in meetings to envision lease terms, identify common resources, and develop leadership skills for the creation and implementation of the leasing system. 


The Darbo Food Pantry will receive $3,500.  The Darbo Pantry Project (DPP) was created in response to the closing of the Salvation Army Community Center pantry in Madison’s Worthington Park neighborhood.  The pantry project in Darbo-Worthington will incorporate a fresh, innovative approach which addresses multiple community needs at the same time.  While traditional pantries distribute primarily non-perishable canned goods and other food, this effort will focus on distribution of fresh, local produce and recovered prepared food.


Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) will receive a grant for $1,000 to serve low to moderate income individuals in the Edgerton School District and be able to serve members of both the African American and Latino communities. The Edgerton School District reaches both Dane and Rock counties. ECO staff, volunteers, and pantry participants will participate in the growing and harvesting of the produce. Fresh produce will be distributed through ECO's Food Pantry. ECO has a process of distributing items of abundance through their Thrift Store, ensuring that no items go to waste.


Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church will receive a grant for $2,000.  What's for Dinner Meadowood is a pilot program that will serve food starting on Thursday nights using the food cart resource that Good Shepherd Lutheran Church owns.  Thursday nights were chosen as the night to coincide with the food pantry that is open at the location on that evening. The food cart would provide food to anyone who wishes on a pay as you can model. The building is located on Raymond Rd. in the Meadowood Neighborhood. There is a huge opportunity to serve people from all socio-economic backgrounds and stimulate interactions between individuals.  The project is intended to provide low or no cost food to people in the Meadowood Neighborhood who do not always have access to affordable food.


Optimist Club of Cottage Grove will receive a grant for $2,250.  Many families of school-aged children depend on public schools to assist in providing meals for their children during the weekdays.  However, there are limited accessible, affordable, healthy food options for these children on weekends. The Optimist Club of Cottage Grove is aiming to provide this targeted population of children access to nutritious meal options by providing snack packs on weekends during the school year with a goal to eliminate child hunger outside of school that is caused by a family’s financial hardship.  Each snack pack will include nutritious and wholesome food items for the child to have to eat throughout the weekend. 


St. Mark’s Lutheran Church ELCA will receive a grant for $1,500 to serve families/individuals at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. The south side of Madison is a “City of Madison Food Access Improvement Focus Area” with a higher than average density of communities of color.  The grant will be used to purchase foods to supplement food donations in order to meet the dietary needs of their clients and thereby ensure they receive appropriate foods for a healthy diet, especially foods that meet a particular dietary need such as gluten free, dairy free foods, and foods for cultural or religiously restricted diets.  


Trained to Grow Inc. and Luna’s Groceries will receive a grant for $1,750. Cooking for the Culture is a one year, 10 session cumulative curriculum designed to engage racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse Dane County youth about the history, science, anthropology, and economics of food. Participants will be recruited to represent the diversity of the neighborhood, which is divided relatively evenly among African American, Latino/a, and White residents with a small Southeast Asian population. Parental or guardian consent will be required. It will engage 20-25 youth in Fitchburg and Southwest Madison in monthly, three-hour sessions. Each session will focus on distinct food themes; all will include three parts: culture, chemistry, and creation.


The 2019 Partners in Equity Food Grant Award resolution will be introduced to the County Board. To learn more about the Office of Equity and Inclusion and its mission, please visit:

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