One part of our Collaborative operates as a food relief program to help address the widespread food insecurities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. School staff work directly with families to identify needs and make sure there is enough food and support from our Collaborative for each family each week (this includes social workers, psychologists, teachers, principals, etc.). All of this is done in partnership with Westminster Presbyterian Church, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin and United Way of Dane County.
Each week the Collaborative provides 30+ pounds of food to each family. The groceries include prepackaged non-perishable care boxes, milk, eggs, produce and other items as available from Second Harvest or purchased by the Collaborative. We also provide toilet paper, diapers, wipes and various toiletries to families as needed.
We ensure that families get quality groceries delivered to them, at their door, and continue to review the referral system for families to ensure that all who have a need are being served.
In addition to the work the Collaborative is doing to provide food and other daily essentials, we are working hard to make sure families are able meet basic financial needs: this includes funding for eviction prevention, phone and internet service support, enrichment activities for children, transportation and any other expenses that have a direct impact on the health and security of our students and families.
Looking Ahead …
As we look to the future, we want to be able to continue feeding families, prevent homelessness and evictions and relieve some of the barriers to education confronting so many families. To do that we rely on continued community support.
We are grateful that Westminster Presbyterian Church is continuing to allow us use of their space as the headquarters for our food relief program. We are grateful that Second Harvest strives to end hunger in southwestern Wisconsin and works tirelessly with hundreds of local hunger-relief charities like our own. We are grateful our volunteers keep coming back. We are grateful for our good fortune in having such a generous community that continues to financially support the Collaborative and its mission. We are grateful for everything that allows the Collaborative to thrive.