Project Description Narrative:
Around one-quarter of Milwaukee’s residents live in poverty. Of that, an overwhelming 39.8% of children live below the federal poverty line. In Milwaukee and beyond, low socioeconomic status is associated with poorer health, lower educational attainment, and higher incarceration rates. Inadequate food access is one of many social determinants contributing to poor health in neighborhoods characterized by high poverty rates, crime, and incarceration.
Veggie Chop Shop (VCS) is a community meal program that uses gleaned produce (donated excess produce) to prepare nutrient-rich meals for individuals living in shelters or other food-insecure spaces. Run by Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee (THI), a Jewish social justice/social action organization that identifies food justice issues as a key focus, since 2015, VCS engages volunteers to reduce food waste and promote healthy eating for vulnerable populations, including those who are homeless, struggling with mental health, addiction, and/or those who are living in poverty.
This project will determine current VCS program strengths and gaps, build organizational capacity for increased delivery of produce to target populations for 2023, and develop a multi-year strategy for sustainability that engages multiple stakeholders.
Community partners: Fondy Farmers Market, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association – Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEEESSN)