A Call to action: ASK your ELECTED OFFICALS to help end hunger
This year, the Badger Prairie Needs Network will set a new record in the number of meals distributed through our food pantry. By the end of next month, we will have distributed over ½ million lbs. of food - enough for 420,000 meals. We will have helped a cumulative total of 13,000 individuals who do not have enough to eat - up 18% over last year. And we will have provided over 6,000 free meals through our Saturday community meal program. The need for food assistance locally is great and the challenges for organizations like ours are numerous.
Each year in Wisconsin, millions of pounds of produce remain left to rot in farm fields. Much of this produce goes unused even though 11% of Wisconsin residents – nearly 700,000 individuals – are at risk of hunger each day. To help combat this serious hunger issue, many Wisconsin farmers and food businesses donate surplus produce to food banks and local food pantries but there still remains a lot more food that is left out in the field that could be captured for pennies on the dollar.
The need for more healthful food in the emergency food system is staggering. According to the 2014 Wisconsin Hunger Report, nearly 53% of households utilizing the emergency food system report having one member with heart disease and 34% report having one member with diabetes. At the same time, 82% of households report prioritizing cheap, unhealthy foods in order to make ends meet.
A bill is now circulating in the Wisconsin State Legislature that would create a public-private partnership that would increase the amount of fresh and fresh-processed food for food pantries to distribute to families utilizing the emergency food system in our state. Please contact the legislators representing your area and ask that they sign on as a sponsor to Harvest for Hope (SB 487 and AB 577). It will help local food pantries provide nutritious food that families and children they need to work, learn and live healthier lives. You can find your representative and contact information using the map at http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov
New Study: Almost 1M Wisconsin Households Can't Make Ends Meet
42% of Wisconsin households can’t afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation, despite working. 65% of all jobs in Wisconsin pay less than $20 an hour and most pay less than $15 an hour. The jobs forecast shows low-paying jobs dominating the economy into the future. Learn More at United Way Wisconsin ALICE
Mending Days: 1st Saturday of each month
Sugar River United Methodist Church sponsors a Mending Day at Badger Prairie Needs Network on the 1st Saturday of each month.
This FREE service is on a first come, first served basis when the food pantry is open. Repairs may include hems, buttons, a ripped seam, tear or hole to mend, straps or belt loops (no zippers pleaseJ). There is a 30 minute limit per person and some items may be declined due to complexity or condition of item.
If you have questions or want more information, contact 608-279-7596. Time to pull out your winter wear and see what needs a bit of TLC.