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January 13, 2021

Happy New Year! Winter break is over and we are all getting back to business as usual. Here are some important updates and opportunities to support the Collaborative as we start off 2021:

Grocery Delivery Schedule: We resumed our weekly grocery deliveries on Friday, January 8th and will continue our weekly deliveries for the foreseeable future.

Grocery Delivery Support: As we mentioned last month, our grocery support from Second Harvest would be less unless and until state and federal funds return. We are so thankful that on December 23rd, County Executive Joe Parisi announced Dane County will ink a $5 million agreement with Second Harvest to continue a program the County launched during the Covid-19 pandemic that links local growers with food pantries. The initial $8 million in funding for this effort was set to expire at the end of the year but under a contract extension agreed to at the end of December, that work will continue until July 31, 2021. The extension means Second Harvest will be able to continue to provide food to Dane County food pantries over the harsh winter months ahead.

With Dane CARES funding restored, Second Harvest is working hard to re-launch the program as quickly as possible. We don’t know how or when this will impact the Collaborative quite yet, but it is amazing and positive news for Second Harvest and all the groups that rely on their support.   

Rent/Bill Assistance: December saw a drastic rise in rent assistance requests. Since March 2020, we have supported 196 MMSD families, averaging just over $600 per family (that’s over $120,000!). However, in just the first two weeks of December, we received 42 requests. Many local community organizations are out of funds and the Collaborative remains one of the few places on which our families can rely.

What can you do? We’re looking for help for our upcoming virtual silent auction fundraiser: COLLECT FOR THE COLLAB!

We are seeking donations of items or experiences to include in our silent auction and are looking to our community for help. Perhaps you or someone you know owns a local business, has a special talent to share or just has something of value they are looking to donate. Help us canvas the community to make this an auction to remember. We are collecting auction donations until January 15th!

If you are interested in helping (just a little bit or a whole lot), contact Alexa Wautier at 608-320-6929 or anpaliwal@hotmail.com for more details.

Direct Donation Link — Don’t have the time to help with the auction but still want to support the Collaborative? You can always donate directly to the Rent and Bill Assistance Fund.

From all of us at the Collaborative, thank you for considering our request. We look forward to hearing from you.

Item Donations: We are looking to collect can opener donations so that every family on our delivery routes can receive one. If you can donate, you can use the Hamilton PTO sign-up genius for cleaning supplies or you can simply drop them off at Westminster on Tuesdays or Fridays between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

Project Linus: We were fortunate enough to receive a large donation of blankets from the local chapter of Project Linus. Chapter coordinated Eileen Kellor brought 100 warm fuzzy blankets, including 35 crocheted afghans which will be donated specifically to young mothers. Such an important donation as we head into the coldest winter months.

Metcalfe’s Market Charity of the Month: Reminder to use the below barcoded flyer when shopping at Metcalfe’s. You will get a 5% discount on all shopping throughout January and Metcalfe’s will donate 5% to the Collaborative on total purchases at the end of the month. Please make sure to shop at Metcalfe’s in January!

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.