Summer produce

Food pantries and meal providers will be getting a financial boost this year through the Partners in Equity food grant program in Dane County.

Eight local agencies have been awarded a total of over $20,000 for their work in providing meals, operating food pantries and helping residents grow vegetable gardens.

The Partners in Equity, or PIE, grants come from the Dane County Tamara D. Grigsby Office of Equity and Inclusion, and were announced on Friday.

The grants were given in partnership with the Dane County Food Council.

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"I find this program to be an excellent opportunity for the community to use public resources in addressing access to safe and healthy food to all of its citizens," said Dane County Board Supervisor Carl Chenoweth, who has served on the Food Council for four years.

The eight agencies receiving PIE grants include:

  • Cambodia Buddhist Temple Society of Wisconsin, $4,000 for its food pantry project serving about 200 low-income or poverty-level Cambodian families.
  • Community GroundWorks, $4,000 to help Hmong growers at the Westport Community Farm.
  • The Darbo Food Pantry, $3,500 for the pantry created in the Worthington Park neighborhood after the Salvation Army's pantry closed. The pantry will focus on distributing fresh, local produce and recovered prepared food.
  • Edgerton Community Outreach, $1,000 to grow and harvest fresh produce to be distributed at its food pantry, primarily serving low- to moderate-income people in the Edgerton School District, and the African American and Latino communities.
  • Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, $2,000 for the "What's for Dinner Meadowood" pilot program, a Thursday night food cart at the church, providing meals to those paying as you can, meaning low- or no-cost food to people in the Meadowood neighborhood who otherwise don't have access to affordable food.
  • Optimist Club of Cottage Grove, $2,250 to make weekend snack packs for school kids in the community, supplementing school provided meals during the week, with a goal of eliminating child hunger outside of school, caused by a family's financial hardship.
  • St. Mark's Lutheran Church, $1,500 to buy the appropriate foods for a healthy diet for families and individuals on Madison's South Side, including gluten-free or dairy-free foods, and foods for cultural or religiously restricted diets.
  • Trained to Grow and Luna's Groceries, $1,750 for a one-year Cooking for the Culture class engaging the diverse ethnic youth in Fitchburg and Southwest Madison in culture, chemistry and creation of food.

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