Goodman Community Center | Farm to Food Bank program enters fourth…

Farm to Food Bank program enters fourth year

Program provides fresh produce, dairy and eggs to pantries across Dane County, including Goodman

February 21, 2023 |
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Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was joined by representatives from Second Harvest, Goodman and Wisconsin farmers to announce continued support of the Farm to Food Bank program. Parisi included $6 million in this year's county budget to ensure the program continues.

When you enter the Goodman Center Brassworks building, there’s a lofty and unassuming sign naming the hallway: Ubuntu Atrium. Ubuntu is a Zulu word and African philosophy that loosely translates to “I am because we are.” It’s a philosophy at the core of the work Goodman does. Our vision for our community is one that’s “thriving because everyone is valued and has the resources they need to be successful.”

Ubuntu. I thrive when we all thrive.

On Monday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi was joined at the Goodman Center by representatives from Second Harvest, Goodman and local farmers to shed a light on the Farm to Food Bank program, which is entering its fourth year. The program was created by Dane County in collaboration with Second Harvest to provide support to the whole community.

“I am because we are.”

As part of the Farm to Food Bank program, the Fritz Food Pantry at Goodman receives fresh eggs and dairy products.

Through funding from the county, Second Harvest purchases fresh produce, dairy products and eggs from local Wisconsin farmers. Supporting farmers. Those products are then distributed to food pantries across Dane County – including Goodman. Supporting pantries. The pantries then get the fresh food in the hands of neighbors who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. Supporting families.

Adding to that layer of mutual aid, the investment the county is making in this program keeps those funds local – they go to farmers who live right here in our community. Supporting our economy.

Parisi’s office shared that an estimated 20,000 Dane County residents will be impacted by the sunsetting of extra FoodShare benefits that is scheduled to happen later this month. Food pantries like Goodman expect to see a surge in demand (read more about that here).

“Everyone deserves access to fresh, nutritious food.”

Francesca Frisque, Goodman’s food pantry manager, shared at the press event that customers to the Fritz Food Pantry are delighted by the variety of fresh options as they shop.

Customers to the Fritz Food Pantry have access to fresh produce and get to try produce they might not otherwise try, like Jerusalem artichokes.

“Lots of great conversations happen at the mini farmers market,” she said, speaking of the fresh produce stand customers shop as they wait for their turn in the main part of the pantry. “I get to share about where the food is grown, what it is and how it can be used in a dish. And our customers share with me what they’re going to make. I learn so much from customers who visit our pantry.”

Programs like Farm to Food Bank ensure that families and individuals who need assistance have access to fresh foods, as well as the opportunity to try foods they might not otherwise try, all while also supporting local farms in Wisconsin.

As Parisi said at the end of the event, “Everyone deserves access to fresh, nutritious food.”

Thank you to Dane County, Second Harvest and everyone in our community who supports Goodman and our pantry for helping make that possible.

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