UPDATE: As of 5/25, over $10,000 has been donated to FEED Kitchens by Owners; this amount will be matched by the Co-op, and join an earlier $10,000 we donated, for over $30,000 total in donations!

One step closer to opening, just a little further to go…
FEED Kitchens renderingThe FEED Kitchens Center is one step closer to serving up lots more local food. We broke ground in April for an early September opening. FEED Kitchens, or Food Enterprise & Economic Development Kitchens, will offer five commercial kitchen spaces for rent to food entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their food businesses, as well as community members wanting to hold cooking classes, bake or process produce in bulk or with friends. The Kitchens will also be home to a processing service to help small farmers preserve excess produce for sale or distribution through food pantries, and a training kitchen designed to support food-based employment training programs for those seeking jobs in food service or bakery.

In his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Paul Soglin called FEED one of the most exciting, dynamic and important developments in Madison. The prospect of more local food businesses creating more ways for all of us to eat locally grown and manufactured food is a part of a movement toward greater food security. FEED is a critical piece of the bigger puzzle that, when completed, will include a public market, a regional food aggregation and distribution hub, and a robust food-based economy that expands the possibilities for an even wider range of products for sale to all who love to eat.

How You Can Help
Willy Street Co-op is one of the major partners in this endeavor, donating $10,000 to help us purchase the necessary commercial equipment, and matching another $10,000 of YOUR donations. For every dollar you donate at the register, FEED will receive $2 until the Co-op has reached its donation limit. Without this money, we will not be able to open with all the equipment that our users will require to do their work.
What will your donations buy? Sinks, tables, commercial-grade food processors, packaging equipment, and a label-printing scale are just a few of the things we need to get going. Equipment like this will help food entrepreneurs produce everything from healthy snacks to dried soup mixes to decadent treats.

Other Ways to help FEED
If you have extra money and you are seeking a local business in which to invest, we are offering opportunities for community members to loan money to help us build the building. These loans will offer a higher-than-market interest rate and a way for you to point to one of the things you’re helping make happen with your investment.

Don’t have money to invest or donate at the register? Then spread the word, to friends and family, and help publicize our needs as well as let people know about the many opportunities that FEED will offer for new or existing food entrepreneurs, community groups, and farmers. Whether you are someone who has a great food product that you want to bring to the market, a gardener who needs a large space in which to put up your harvest, or a non-profit hoping to find new opportunities for fundraising, teach people how to cook or run a food-service training program, FEED will be a place for you to pursue your passion. Visit our web site, www.feedkitchens.org and sign up for our email newsletter to be informed of progress and upcoming events.

If you have questions or ideas for ways FEED can raise the rest of the money we need to open our doors fully-outfitted and ready to serve our community, please contact Ellen Barnard, FEED Kitchens Project Chair at ellenb@feedkitchens.org.

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