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For two years Westminster planned, implemented and supported food programs for needy students and families at our two Adopt-a-School  partners, Thoreau and Cherokee Heights schools, in collaboration with the Food for Thought Initiative. When Wisconsin schools closed on March 13, the school’s staff, with neighborhood help, moved the Cherokee food pantry and the Thoreau weekend food program to Westminster’s Fellowship Hall. With leadership from the school’s social workers and PTOs, the initial plan was to continue to support these programs for the schools with volunteers from the neighborhood, as shown below.
The size and success of the program, initially feeding over 300 individuals and raising funds for food and other necessities, including over $4,300 from Westminster’s Mission Committee, quickly brought change, with the Westminster site now the United Way COVID-19 Food Packaging with Door Stop Delivery for the Madison West High Area Collaborative, which includes families from Thoreau, Franklin, Leopold, Lincoln, Midvale, Randall, Shorewood, and Van Hise Elementary Schools, Cherokee Heights, Hamilton, and Wright Middle Schools, and West High. Most recently, supported by over 100 volunteers, the Collaborative is providing food for about 400 families and has raised about $75,000, including $25,000 from United Way.  Most of the shelf stable food is coming from the Second Harvest and River food pantries supplemented with food brought in from Westminster’s access to the Community Action Coalition food bank. The funds raised are used to purchase perishable food and other necessities. Use the link above to volunteer to help.
The first week’s food-box delivery from the River food pantry.
Groups of volunteers arrive to distribute food to need families.
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