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For information on Healthy Food For All, visit: or on Facebook @ HealthyFoodForAllDaneCounty


Healthy Food For All tackles food waste and access in Dane County Story by Kate Newton Photos by Samantha Christian

Cafe Costa Rica food cart owner Thony “Mango Man” Clarke, center, chats with Healthy Food For All coordinator Christopher Brockel, left, and volunteer Demontay Tibbs, right, while they prepare and repackage food at FEED Kitchens on July 6.


Healthy Food For All volunteer Danielle Lynch, right, collects food donations from vendors at the Dane County Farmers’ Market on July 1, including mustard greens and lettuce from Everett Vang’s stand. Through her work with the American Society of Agronomy, the 26-year-old Madison resident said she deals with “food-related issues everyday” and “thinks about it a lot,” so when she was looking for a volunteer opportunity, HFFA “seemed like a natural fit.” She started volunteering a year ago, and so far has helped with communication efforts and packaging food at FEED Kitchens. 18 YOUR FAMILY FALL 2017

hen life gives you eggs, make a pound cake. That’s the task on Lula Jones’ mind as she sifts through the items local food recovery nonprofit Healthy Food For All has dropped off for fellow Southridge Village residents. Beginning in May, Jones and a few dozen of her neighbors on Madison’s southside have signed up for the firstcome, first-served deliveries, chatting and checking up on each other as they peruse crates of milk, soup, prepared meat, pasta dishes and plenty of fresh local produce – perfect for a zucchini squash saute to go with that dessert. “I think it’s nice because a lot of people can’t go out to get necessary items,” added Marsha Gerke, who has lived at the affordable housing complex for 16 years. This delivery stop at the Post Road apartments is one of several planned for HFFA’s volunteer driver, who departs with a van full of food each week from the Food Enterprise and Economic Development (FEED) Kitchens on the northeast side of Madison. The aptly

named facility acts as a home base for dozens of food cart operators, small business owners and food industry workers – many working independently – who can rent time in its five commercial kitchen spaces. FEED operations manager Christopher Brockel also runs Healthy Food For All, which he co-founded two years ago, out of the 5,400-squarefoot facility operated by the Northside Planning Council. Just as food pours through the doors of FEED Kitchens, Healthy Food For All works to ensure a sizable portion comes right back out to feed area residents in need. In addition to collecting and redistributing prepared food donated by major area employers like health care software vendor Epic Systems and American Family Insurance, the organization also receives frequent donations of surplus produce brought in from nearby farms. As of early August, HFFA has redirected 144,196 pounds of prepared food and 39,863 pounds of produce that otherwise would have been

destined for the Dane County Landfill. It now goes to area food pantries, lowincome neighborhoods and community centers, including the Kennedy Heights Community Center, East Madison Community Center, The River Food Pantry, First United Methodist Church and Middleton Outreach Ministry. Presenting that food “with dignity,” a term both Brockel and HFFA co-founder Joe Mingle use frequently when discussing their work, means they ensure every food item they process is well cleaned and packaged and, most importantly, meets a standard of fresh, good quality. Brockel said that’s essential to empowering the county’s most at-risk and impoverished residents to make healthy dietary choices. “You market it in a way that people make the choice you want them to make, and what we’re finding is that is indeed what happens,” Brockel told Your Family. “Low-income folks want to eat healthy food and local produce just as much as you and I, or people making way more money. It’s just that they don’t Continued on page 20 FALL 2017 YOUR FAMILY 19

2017 Your Family  

Fall 2017

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