by Lynn Olson, Member Services Manager
Willy Street Co-op is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2005 Community Reinvestment Fund grants. Over thirty organizations submitted proposals for a number of worthy projects. After voting to increase the total amount for yearly awards, the WSGC Board of Directors was able to fully fund more requests than ever before. The total money granted is $12,000. So, it is with great pride that we present this list of worthy local organizations working to make our community a better place in which to live.
In order to familiarize Dane county health care providers and outreach workers, ABC for Health has planned a series of trainings for these professionals, aimed at educating them in reaching non-English speaking Hispanic agricultural workers about area healthcare programs. A staff attorney and Health Benefits Counselor will facilitate the program and this funding will pay specifically for staff time, printing of materials, refreshments and lunch for the attendees.
Promoting bicycle safety throughout Madison, a BFW representative will conduct several area bike repair workshops for all members of the community. Specifically, at local east-side festivals, (Atwood Summerfest, Willy Street Fair, etc.) this funding would pay for staff time, printing and supplies to carry out the project.
For over four years, this grassroots organization has been serving locally-grown breakfasts and lunches to a variety of people on the University of Wisconsin campus. With this funding, organizers plan to develop a better food system for the restaurant by working more closely with farmers to plan purchases and storage systems to sustain them during the winter months. As a companion element to this project, a series of farmer-led workshops are planned for members of the community, including cooking and processing classes.
This community garden project has already established the Field to Farm program for several years on the Troy Community Farm on Madison’s northeast side. This funding will enable FTG to provide an opportunity for 12 low-income neighborhood teens to learn sustainable farming practices, natural habitat landscaping and receive additional education on nutrition and seasonal cooking.
On Madison’s south side, Lincoln Elementary School has been at the center of efforts to introduce organic agriculture and good nutrition practices to its students through the Homegrown Lunch program. This project would further enhance this program for 40 students at the school by providing a seed starting project, farmers’ market and an overnight trip to a tribal-owned farm in Oneida County.
Continuing the Partner Shares Program, this organization will use this funding to promote their new effort called Program Participation and Nutrition Education workshops. Some of the funding will help them purchase artists clay for use in their Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. Program participation and the nutrition workshops are open to members of the community throughout Madison’s east and north sides.
This funding will support the development of new curriculum targeted toward students interested in pursuing a culinary profession. This quarter-long course called “Play with your Food: Discovering the Art of Cooking” will culminate with preparing the food for a fundraising dinner at a local restaurant and catering for a learning trip to Vernon County in May 2005.
The School Age Program at Marquette Elementary School in the Wil-Mar neighborhood hosts a large number of children throughout the school year and over the summer. This on-going program will be enhanced with this funding to create their own cookbook after learning about foods and how to cook them from the Willy Street Co-op. The project is planned to complete a cookbook celebration with the students preparing recipes from their book.
As one of the shelters of Dane County providing services for the homeless with severe mental illness, they plan to purchase four CSA shares at nearby Troy Community Farm. Interested guests of Safe Haven would have the opportunity to visit the CSA grounds, participate in special activities and volunteer on the farm.