Summer is HERE! Zucchini and yellow necks have officially made an appearance (in wild abundance, as is their style) as lettuce and baby greens are waning. It's wonderful to be so closely tied to the cycle of re-birth, growth, and harvest. Even though each year brings new challenges and new opportunity, each year has a familiar rhythm that is extremely comforting.
Our regular volunteer shifts as well as our new additions are working out very well! Community Hunger Solutions continues to serve Hillsboro, Northern Grant County, Cashton, Gays Mills, Readstown, Ontario, and Wilton moving about 100 produce and dairy boxes every week and protein boxes have been added to the mix. While these boxes don't contain as much locally produced food as we'd like, we supplement the boxes with additional local organic produce and recipe cards with basic info on different veggies and simple suggestions on how to use them.
Community Hunger Solutions has joined a unified application for the $10M Food Security Initiative Grant. Hunger Relief Federation partners blew the grant requirement of 50% right out of the water and have committed to spending 100% of the funds to purchase Wisconsin produced foods - paying Wisconsin small family farms for healthy food and keeping Wisconsin families fed through June 2021! HRF partners include Black, Latinx and Tribal leaders on both the supply and demand sides to ensure that food security also means food equity for people of Color in Wisconsin. If you'd like your voice heard in this effort, contact Gov. Evers, Lieut. Gov. Barnes, and Rep. Oldenberg and tell them to support the Hunger Relief Federation grant proposal which commits to spending 100% of the $10M in Wisconsin! Find their contact information here.
We've also begun to revive pantry partnerships that faltered at the start of the pandemic. Each pantry had to figure out how best to continue to serve area families with the resources available which meant some moved to source their food from fewer places. Now, as these pantries get their feet under them, again, and begin to exchange ideas and resources with other pantries CHS has become a vital part of their offerings - and just in time for the real beginning of the summer bounty!
I have yet to resume pantry features as our fellow citizens continue to fight for equity for Black and Brown folks in the United States. In this spirit, I'll continue to #AmplifyMelinatedVoices each week* with a new feature. (*or, as often as I post)
This week, I'd like to share an 'Losing Ground' by Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting. An article about a Black family trying to start and maintain a farm and how institutionalized racism killed that dream for them. If this article speaks to you, disenfranchisement of Black farmers isn't just happening in North Carolina and other southern states. You can support 40 Acres and a Mule Project which is working to get farm land back into the hands of Black farmers in and near La Crosse. https://www.gofundme.com/f/forty-acres-project