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As the pandemic continues and colder weather is upon us, FEED Kitchens is restarting our FEED to Go initiative to provide free meals to those in need in our community. Entrepreneurs at FEED Kitchens are ready to make those meals as soon as we have the ability to supply them with the resources to do so.
For every $7 that is donated, FEED Kitchens will pay an entrepreneur working here to provide a meal that we will be sure gets immediately distributed to someone in need.
Our goal for this fundraiser is $25,000 – enough to provide over 3,500 meals. We will be supplementing this fundraiser with grant writing and other activities to support the initiative, including a silent auction coming up in October.
FEED Kitchens had a quick and early response to the pandemic:
In early March of this year we began to realize that a potential pandemic and quarantine would bring some serious emerging needs: food insecurity and food business survival. As a large nonprofit production kitchen, we saw FEED as a critical piece of food systems infrastructure that could be repurposed during a crisis. So we developed the concept: culturally appropriate meals prepared by FEED businesses to be distributed to vulnerable and home-bound residents.
The stay-at-home order took effect on Monday, March 16 and we launched FEED To Go on Thursday, March 19. The program continued every weekday until July 3, 2020. All of the food businesses we contracted with are owned by people of color who have struggled to access capital and are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. In partnership with these FEED entrepreneurs and a cadre of dedicated volunteers, we delivered 30,300 meals in 14 weeks to 15 sites around Dane County, averaging 2200 meals per week or 440 meals per day.
We paused the program on July 3 due to funding shortages but also to give our businesses space during the summer to use FEED. We were also hoping that the growing season would bring additional food security to the community. Of course, we had no way of knowing how serious and prolonged the situation would become. We are now hearing from residents, community partners and our businesses that they would be grateful if we could start up again.
So here we go! Starting with this fundraising campaign and a silent auction coming up in October, all proceeds from these fundraisers will go directly to FEED to Go to provide meals to families in need and to support the entrepreneurs working out of FEED Kitchens.