County Executive Parisi to Join Local Food Pantry and Partners to Celebrate Facility Expansion and New Initiative
December 14, 2018
Ariana Vruwink 608-267-8823
Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi will join the Badger Prairie Needs Network (BPNN) and its partners at 2:00 PM at its headquarters, 1200 E. Verona Ave. in Verona, to celebrate the organization’s facility expansion and launch of its new Kitchen to Table initiative. County Executive Parisi has included $160,000 in his 2019 budget to help fund this upgrade, intended to improve the physical environment the county-owned facility is now used for and allow BPNN to continue to grow.
“BPNN has made great strides in serving our community members and assisting our more vulnerable residents since first moving into our county facility,” said County Executive Parisi. “This expansion will provide BPNN with the features it needs to keep up with our community’s needs and launch new projects along the way.”
The additional cold and frozen food storage from this investment by Dane County and BPNN’s partners will allow the food pantry to carry out its Kitchen to Table initiative. By pooling resources from participating organizations together, BPNN will be able to recover excess food prepared by food service operations, repackage it, and distribute the food to pantries in southern Wisconsin. The initiative will reduce food waste and provide nutritional meals for those who might otherwise go without, creating a win-win for BPNN and its partners.
BPNN moved to Verona in 2014 when Dane County leased the former Badger Prairie Health Center Administration building to the organization for its work to support families in the Verona area. Fast forward a few years, and BPNN’s food pantry service now assists households in six school districts, including Belleville, Middleton/Cross Plains, Mount Horeb, New Glarus, Oregon, and Verona.
Since moving into the county facility, BPNN has distributed ingredients for over 425,000 meals and has increased the number of individuals it serves by 76 percent, or approximately 13,300 people. The food pantry distributed over 523,000 pounds of food in 2017 and helped feed 15,000 people in 2018, with approximately 42 percent being children.
Partners of BPNN include the Community Action Coalition, Dane County, Second Harvest, Feeding Wisconsin, Epic, UW Health, and CUNA Mutual/Eurest. In addition to County Executive Parisi’s investment, funds to complete the expansion came from grants, foundation gifts, individual donations, and the Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour.