Dane County Groups Receive Food Equity Grants Totaling $20,000

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The Maryland State Legislature has passed bills to ban Styrofoam food containers and cups.

MADISON, Wis. – Local groups working to improve equity and access to food received a financial boost on Monday.

Dane County has distributed grants to 10 organizations totaling $20,000, County Executive Joe Parisi announced. The funding is part of the county’s Partners in Equity food grant program.

“Our community continues to face challenges in creating better access to local food systems,” Parisi said in a statement. “By supporting these efforts, we increase opportunity and elevate our community.”

The 10 recipients were selected from a pool of 23 applicants. Five grantees received small grants of $2,000 or less and the other five received large grants of more than $2,000.

Recipients include:

  • Aldo Leopold Foundation — $535
    • The grant will be used to purchase new fruit trees and supplies. Fruit will be donated to the on-site pantry or given to students.
  • Farm to School Cambridge – $450
    • Farm to School will use the grant to purchase new compost bins to teach students about composting.
  • Cambridge School District — $951
    • The district plans to use the funds to expand the size of its raised bed garden from 12 to 36 beds. Vegetables are harvested and eaten by students or donated to the Cambridge Food Pantry.
  • Mission Nutrition – $2,000
    • Mission Nutrition Deforest will use the funds to upgrade its registration system from a written system to a digital system.
  • Youth Empowerment Initiative – $1,064
    • YEI’s farm helps teach community members how to grow crops such as Scotch Bonnet peppers and West African garden eggs. However, crop supplies have dwindled during the pandemic and prices have spiked to a high. The grant will help fund YEI’s farm operation.
  • Dane County Boys and Girls Club – $2,000
    • BGCDC will use its grant to add a culinary education pilot program to its Taft Street Club location in Madison.
  • Connect the Dots – $4,000
    • Connect the Dots plans to use the grant to provide daily meals to homeless people found under Highway 30 and on State Street in Madison.
  • Groundswell Conservancy – $3,500
    • This grant will be used to provide access to therapeutic gardening for Hmong elders living with PTSD, depression and dementia.
  • Restorative Garden – $3,500
    • The program plans to work with Dane County Social Services to transport teens with court-ordered community service to a backyard. Teenagers will learn gardening techniques to help them in the future.
  • River Pantry – $2,000
    • The grant will help River Food Pantry expand its mobile meal program to underserved communities on the South Side of Madison and beyond.

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