Dane Co. extends emergency food program with Second Harvest Food Bank through July 2022

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County leaders announced Monday that the county’s emergency food partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank has been extended through July 2022.

The county’s Farm to Foodbank program connects local food pantries with farmers who in turn supply fresh, locally grown produce and goods to stock the pantries’ shelves. It launched in April 2020 near the beginning of the pandemic and was extended three months ago to run through July 2021.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the 12-month extension and $10 million in new funding will help make sure area residents have their basic needs met while the community works to recover from the pandemic.

“This partnership recognizes that as we navigate the final phases of this difficult year gone by, recovery won’t come as quickly for some and there are basic needs to be met for many families in the months ahead,” Parisi said. “Few things done in the course of the past year rival the success we have seen by linking Second Harvest with our local farmers. These dollars will not only help keep people fed but also ensure markets remain as our local growers bounce back from this pandemic as well.”

Since May 2020, the program has sourced food from more than two dozen Dane County farmers and collected nearly 3 million pounds of produce, frozen meat, perishable products and shelf-stable products to distribute to those in need.

“This funding has been an important part of our overall strategy to bring enough nutritious food to those in our community who don’t always know where their next meal will come from,” said Michelle Orge, President & CEO of Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. “The economic recovery time will be long for many, and this extension of funding is critical as we continue to help Dane County residents and farmers.”