Fund created to address food insecurity in Madison

MADISON (WKOW) — Madison city leaders have created a new fund to address food insecurity.

The Healthy Community Food Systems Fund, which will be available in 2021, reallocates an existing $268,000 to support initiatives related to food access. $150,000 would go toward competitive food access grants and $18,000 would be set aside for regional food systems planning.

“It’s a drop in the bucket for what is needed,” said Food Policy Director George Reistad. “But its a step we can take at the local level to try to spur action to show that we are aware of the issues, to show that we care about the issues.”

$100,000 would go toward a regional food systems planning and entrepreneur support program. Organizations that work to support restaurants and entrepreneurs while feeding the hungry would benefit from these funds.

Cook It Forward is one of those organizations. They partner with restaurants to put together meal packages and deliver them to people in need. Incoming state representative Francesca Hong, who will hold the 76th Assembly District seat, is a leader behind the idea.

“We feel this model of aggregating meals across restaurants is the wave of the future,” Hong said, “Restaurants are now adept at packaging meals to go and could be a critical piece of the puzzle in helping to produce meals for those in need.”

The city also authorized a $50,000 contract with the Northside Planning Council’s FEED to Go program.

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