Chef Dave helps feed Head Start kids, families

Little Johns Meal Program

FITCHBURG, Wis. — A local chef is doing something good to help Reach Dane feed members of their Head Start program.

Normally, children who are 6 years old and younger get meals and snacks each day through the Head Start program. But now that they’re home, that’s not the case.

Chef Dave Heide, owner of Liliana’s in Fitchburg and Charlie’s on Main in Oregon, is working on packing up meals to feed those children and their families.

“That was one of the big worries we had along with the whole board of Reach Dane: How do we get these kids food that they need desperately right now?” Heide said. “How do we get them something to be able to eat? That was the whole idea of this program. Rather than focus on breakfast and lunch, [we wanted] really something that would be hearty enough that, although this is three meals for kids, there is some extra [for family members] who can still grab a bite.”

The program is part of a new restaurant Heide is opening called Little John’s. It will be pay-what-you-can, using excess food from grocery stores. Little John’s staff is preparing the meals from the Charlie’s on Main kitchen.

Volunteers will distribute meals to Head Start locations throughout Dane County.

Reach Dane was able to fund the first three weeks of the meal program, but the hope is to keep the meals going for three additional weeks. If you’d like to donate, you can contact Reach Dane or Chef Dave Heide through his Facebook page.