With schools and workplaces closing to reduce community spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many families have been left scrambling to find a way to pay the bills and put food on the table. A new partnership is fundraising to bring meals to community centers across Madison.
The Northside Planning Council (NPC) & FEED Kitchens, the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and Selfless Ambition announced today that they are launching FEED To Go this week, starting by delivering meals to the Boys and Girls Club on Taft Street Thursday and ramping up serving as many as 160 meals daily at each of four sites across the city by Monday. Additional sites in the second week will include the McKenzie Family Boys and Girls Club in Sun Prairie, Kennedy Heights Community Center on the Northside of Madison, and a fourth site to be determined.
Families in need will be identified by the staff of those community centers, with the focus being on children, seniors and people with disabilities.
“We need to get food to people. That’s the main priority,” said Henry Sanders, CEO of Selfless Ambition. “But we also know the restaurant business is hurting, and going to be hurting for a while. This is a way to help some hardworking entrepreneurs stay afloat, as well.”
Organizers said in a press release that the goal is to expand the service to sites across Dane County, if enough funding becomes available.
“We’re so grateful that these private fundraising efforts are making it possible for our most vulnerable neighbors to get the support they need. With donations from the community, we can increase the number of meal sites all over Madison, add weekend drop offs, and increase the number of meals available at each site,” said NPC Executive Director Abha Thakkar in a statement.
El Wiscorican, a food cart run by Luis Carmona out of FEED Kitchens, will prepare the first meals for the project. Organizers hope to serve 160 meals per day on Thursday and Friday. Carmel Jackson, owner of the soul food restaurant Melly Mel’s, will provide meals next week. Additional food carts and caterers from FEED may participate as FEED To Go expands.
Thakkar said the best way to support FEED To Go is to make a cash donation, which will help buy food in bulk to save resources. You can donate to the COVID-19 Community Emergency Fund at bit.ly/BGClubCovid19Fund and mention “FEED To Go” as the project you want to support.
Additionally, anyone able to donate bulk ingredients for meal preparation should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further, volunteers will be needed to pick up meals at FEED Kitchens and drop them off at Dane County community centers. Organizers said FEED To Go will not be using volunteers for meal preparation and packaging in order to ensure food safety and minimize community spread of coronavirus.
Anyone who is an insured driver and would like to volunteer should email email@example.com.