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COVID-19 Update #6 - Connecting our Community with Regional and National Resources

Community Hunger Solutions made our first deliveries of WI Dairy Recovery Program milk this week, with a total of 100 gallons of milk delivered to local pantries and other food distribution sites throughout Vernon, Monroe, and Crawford Counties! These deliveries also included hundreds of dozens of eggs, about one hundred pounds/pints of cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products, and a few hundred pounds of local, organic sweet potatoes! Pantry patrons regularly exclaim about the freshness of the food CHS provides. We are truly helping increase access to healthy foods and are committed to helping ensure folks can obtain these foods with dignity.

Since CHS sources locally produced food, in May and June we have the lowest volume we'll see all year. Despite this, CHS continues to distribute plenty of healthy, locally sourced options for families to bring home. It is truly rewarding to be a part of this effort of connecting excess food from local producers with local families in need of food assistance!

Since most of my time is spent working from home, I've been actively working to grow Community Hunger Solutions' network to those pantries who may be beyond the reach of food banks in La Crosse and Madison. I've also reached out to local school districts to see if CHS can offer any assistance or connect them with the many programs becoming available. For exmple, the Farm to Families initiative is in its final stages of planning and beginning implementation with distribution to begin next week. As part of the Hunger Relief Federation, CHS will act as a sub-hub accepting a partial load of food from Hunger Task Force La Crosse and distributing it to our partner pantries that are beyond HTF's range. I'm excited to be able to begin offering a more complete amount of food relief to our partner pantries and other food distribution sites who otherwise don't have access to this food!

For the next few weeks, I'll work on highlighting a new hunger relief partner each week. Check back next week for my first partner highlight!

Each week, I'd also like to highlight a new non-profit that's doing important work related to COVID-19 relief efforts. This week, I'm highlighting the NDN Collective! The NDN Collective’s COVID-19 Response Project is designed to provide immediate relief to some of the most under served communities in the country. NDN’s intent is to quickly distribute resources to front line organizations, Tribes and individuals to provide gap services during this health crisis, and to artists and entrepreneurs who have suffered the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, NDN awarded over $2,500,000 to recipients in tribal communities!

“We are so thankful to NDN Collective for supporting our work, and especially for helping cover costs we didn’t anticipate in our original fundraising,” said Ethel Branch, organizer for the Hopi and Navajo COVID Families Relief Fund and recipient of an NDN COVID-19 Response Project grant. “NDN’s support will ensure we are providing quality food baskets to our elders, immuno-compromised and vulnerable families.” NDN Collective is currently accepting applications from Indigenous artists and Indigenous-led small businesses affected by COVID-19, through the end of May. Support their mission here.

Until next week, stay safe and stay healthy!


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