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From local farmers to Madison-area school kids

Three Madison organizations recently received Farm to School grants.

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Madison’s Pasture and Plenty offers after-school cooking classes for area youth. | Photo via Pasture and Plenty

The Farm to School Council, through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, just announced that eight organizations statewide received grants totaling $250,000 — three of which are in Madison.

Formed in 2009 as part of Wisconsin Act 293, the council was created to advance a farm-to-school network, comprised of local food supply chain partners, child health and nutrition professionals, school food service workers, and more.

The goal of the grants:

  • Enable communities to develop farm-to-school partnerships
  • Implement farm-to-school initiatives
  • Strengthen Wisconsin’s state farm-to-school network

These grants will improve the meals and snacks given to Madison’s school-aged youth, and doing it with locally grown food. We call that a win-win.

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Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection offers grants to organizations, connecting farmers with schools. | Photo by 608today

Madison’s recipients

Kids Forward
This organization advocates for children and families of color. The funds will be used to increase understanding of and access to fresh, local, culturally relevant foods, particularly in Spanish-speaking and Tribal nation communities.

Mad Local Food Group LLC (Pasture and Plenty)
The $21,600 grant will go toward the Youth Black Excellence Life Readiness Cooking Class and Local Meal Kit Program. These after-school cooking classes will use meal kits containing locally sourced ingredients highlighting Wisconsin’s harvest seasons.

The program, said Pasture and Plenty’s owner Christy McKenzie, “demonstrates what successful community engagement with Farm to School programming can look like when diversity, equity, and inclusion are centered in the work.”

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association Inc.
The WECA food program is the only program in Wisconsin to serve providers, children, and families in all 72 counties and all Tribal nations. The newly acquired funding will be used to install edible gardens, improve local foods infrastructure, and make agricultural education and resources more readily available.

You can support Kids Forward, Pasture and Plenty, and WECA today.

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