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February 23, 2021

We are pleased to announce that the photo “Food Security Meets Get Out the Vote” showcasing our volunteers and food delivery program won the 1st place prize in the 2020 Food Policy Networks* project’s photo contest.

The winning photo was taken by West High student Miranda Garcia-Dove during a grocery delivery day last summer. She was taking photographs to include on the Collaborative’s website, a project which she completed late last summer. The photo was submitted (on Miranda’s behalf) by Steve Ventura, a retired UW professor and Collaborative volunteer interested in food security and related community challenges.

In the photo, one volunteer readies bags to provide food assistance to low income residents of Madison while another tucks in information about how to register to vote and how to cast an absentee ballot. The photo shows the Collaborative at the intersection of so much good work provided by so many: food supply from Second Harvest and local farmers, volunteers from United Way, civic engagement efforts of the Madison City Clerk’s Office and its network of volunteers; all with the end goal of supporting, promoting and listening to the people in our community.

We are fortunate to be able to run our grocery delivery program out of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the heart of Nakoma, which is a Chippewa word meaning “I do as I promise.” These words remind us of the responsibility we have to each other and this photo is a visual representation of that commitment.

Thank you, Miranda, for taking such a poignant photo. Thank you, Steve, for recognizing the meaning of the photo beyond just a happy memory. Thank you both for putting a spotlight on the importance of our collective good deeds and the impact it has on our community. We promise to continue supporting, promoting and listening to the families our community. We do as we promise.

*The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks (FPN) project supports the development of effective state and local food policy through networking, capacity building, research, and technical assistance. They work directly with food policy councils, national organizations, and other groups seeking to improve the food system through public policy.

February 17, 2021

Rent/Bill Assistance: Thank you to everyone who participated in our Collect for the Collab silent auction fundraiser. We raised over $17,000 for the Collaborative’s rent assistance program and will be able to help support more than 25 families meet their basic financial needs. West Side Pride!

Missed out on the auction, but still want to help? You can always donate directly to the Rent and Bill Assistance Fund.
Can Opener Donations:  Thanks to the Hamilton Middle School PTO, who delivered 240 can openers to the Collaborative this week, we will have enough openers to deliver to every family on our delivery route (that’s over 330!). Thank you to everyone who donated.
Her Drive: West High Students Brenna Butler, Crystal Ni and Charlotte Thomas hosted a “Her Drive” to provide those in need with bras, feminine products and other general hygiene products. Within one month, they collected donations for over 16,500 period products, bras, and personal hygiene items! Most of the items will be donated to Dane County Foster Care, but the group also made a significant donation to the Collaborative as you can see from the photos. We at the Collaborative are certainly grateful for their support. Feminine and general hygiene products are a necessity but expensive and harder to source for so many.
For more information, you can go to Her Drive’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

What Else Can You Do to Support the Collaborative?

Volunteer: We are always in need of Friday delivery drivers between 9:45 AM and 1:00 PM. Please share the United Way volunteer link with your friends and neighbors. For a complete description of all of our volunteer needs go to our Volunteer Page.

Donations: Make a monetary donation or donate non-food supplies (cleaning and personal hygiene) by following the links on our Donation Page.