For the last 17 years, Willy Street Co-op’s Community Reinvestment Fund has donated over $240,000 to support a diverse array of projects in the areas of food, nutrition, health/well-being, sustainable agriculture, cooperative education and social change. The Fund’s focus is local, non-profit groups with an otherwise limited access to funding. This year, 17 local agencies were chosen to receive funding toward their projects. Below is a list of the recipients and their projects designated to benefit from this funding.

Community Groundworks at Troy Gardens ($1,500)
The Grow Local Greenhouse Project is designed to seasonally expand and enhance further education at the community farm and sustain the organization into the future.

Dane County Timebank ($1,000)
 Youth Court, a program that provides education and self-governance to teens in our community, is slated for expansion into several new neighborhoods around Madison.

East High School/MMSD     ($500)
Addressing multiple school initiatives including improved nutrition, nutrition education, community building and social education, the Free Fruit Bowl proposal is expected to encourage healthy eating habits for students of this Madison high school.

East Madison Community Center ($800)
The Center’s youth program will provide regular “healthy cooking” lessons during their after-school and summer camp programs.

Family Farm Defenders ($800)
This organization will expand consumer and farmer awareness about domestic fair trade practices to solidify the state’s agriculture-community connectivity.

Freedom, Inc. ($600)
“Our Space, Our Place” will work to empower youth of color in Madison and increase knowledge about health and well-being via several approaches including food demonstrations.

Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy ($700)
“Empowerment Group for Teen Girls” is an innovative dance/movement therapy group for sixth-grade girls that uses creative movement and verbal discussion to build self-esteem, foster community and support healthy personal and cultural attitudes.

Lussier Community Education Center ($700)
Working with a Dane County CSA farm, the center will provide educational components to healthy, local, seasonal eating along with deliveries of a weekly farm share for the center’s Youth Resource Center.

Madison Area CSA Coalition ($1,200)
As part of the ongoing work by Feeding America and their Kids Café program, funding will be used to further connect Madison’s disadvantaged children with sustainable farming practices and healthy eating by purchasing a share in, and visiting, a CSA farm located in Dane County.

Malcolm Shabazz City High School/MMSD ($500)
Offering students with various learning styles access to several modes of education, the school features a class called “Play with your Food: Discovering the Art of Cooking” as a part of their service-learning project, which encourages eco-leadership and healthy eating/living choices.

Neighborhood House Community Center ($1,350)
This organization’s summer day camp will feature a special emphasis on healthy lifestyles including educational components on nutritious eating and cooking projects.

Odyssey Project/South Madison Library ($800)
“Meals & Memories” is a six-week writing program designed to enhance the academic preparedness of Odyssey Project graduates of South Madison Library, through the recollection and collection of stories about food.

Red Caboose Day Care Center ($800)
Funds will be used specifically for the kids’ cooking club to teach healthy food choices, meal planning and recipe experimentation.

The Respite Center ($750)
The “Teaching Good Nutrition to Children in Crisis” program will work with children and families who are experiencing high levels of stress about good nutrition in a fun and engaging manner.

Tellurian UCAN ($500)
Funds will be used to offer a wellness program for clients of this community mental health facility, including nutritional education for those struggling with diabetes or who have difficulty managing their weight.

WI Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Inc. ($500)
“Low Vision Organic Cooking Classes” are designed to transform challenges into confidence when clients work in the kitchen.

Wheels for Winners ($500)
The “Earn a Bike Program” teaches several important lessons to children in the city of Madison through community service projects, ultimately earning them a free bike, bike helmet and bike lock. An additional benefit of earning a bike is the improvement to their health through greater physical activity.