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September is National Food Safety Education Month!
October 4 @ 5:39 am
The FDA states, “the Federal government estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually – that’s about 1 in 6 Americans each year. Each year, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Following simple food safety tips can help lower your chance of getting sick.”
Our wonderful Second Harvest Quality Assurance Team has compiled a library of Food Safety Resources right here in your Partner Portal:
- Food Date Extension Resources
- Food Packaging Defects Resources
- Food Safety Resources
- Food Storage Resources
- Quality Assurance Resources – Produce
- Recalls and Food Safety Alerts Resources
- Sanitation Resources
- Time & Temperature Control Resources
This resource library can be found at the bottom of your Partner Portal, below the APPLES trainings videos:
Additionally, the US Food & Drug Administration’s website is another helpful resource – this linked page includes further food safety information in both English and Spanish.
Are there other ways we can support you? Please contact email@example.com and let us know.
MADISON, WI, September 15, 2022 – Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin welcomed members of the staff of iCare and parent company Humana as they volunteered at its Madison facility today in honor of Hunger Action Month®, which runs the month of September. Sixteen iCare and Humana staff assembled boxes of assorted refrigerated products like eggs, butter, and yogurt. In the coming days and weeks, their efforts will result in hundreds of families throughout southwestern Wisconsin receiving nutritional support.
“One of the many things that were reinforced by the pandemic was that we can’t end hunger alone,” said Michelle Orge, Second Harvest president & CEO. “It’s going to take everyone to take action to ensure that those facing hunger receive the support they need to thrive. We are grateful for iCare and Human’s commitment to our community.”
In addition to volunteering at the Second Harvest facility, iCare and Humana staff are also volunteering at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin facilities in the Milwaukee and Fox Valley areas this week. In total, over the span of 5 dates, up to 84 iCare and Humana staff will volunteer their time towards reducing food insecurity in our community.
“Food insecurity is a serious area of concern across Wisconsin,” said Tony Mollica, Humana’s Wisconsin Market President and iCare CEO. “Our associates work with vulnerable populations daily. Whether we are serving people who have low incomes, disabilities, or both, we’re working to increase healthy days with people who are at the greatest risk of worsening their health conditions through lack of nutrition. That’s why we’re proud to offer volunteers across the state, in Appleton, Madison and Milwaukee, to advance the work Feeding Wisconsin and their member food banks do to support our communities.”
Second Harvest and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin are both members of Feeding Wisconsin and Feeding America.
About Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin
Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin began working with local hunger-relief agencies in 1986. It helps end hunger in 16 southwestern Wisconsin counties through food distribution to its partner agencies, promotion of outside food assistance programs like FoodShare, and raising awareness of hunger. As southwestern Wisconsin’s largest hunger-relief charity, it meets nearly one million requests for help each year. From July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, Second Harvest, together with its partner agencies and programs, provided 19 million meals. It is one of 200 members of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. For more information, visit SecondHarvestMadison.org.
Humana Inc. is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.
To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience with the goal of making health care easier to navigate and more effective.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s website at humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings
- Most recent investor conference presentations
- Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
- Calendar of events
- Corporate Governance information
About Independent Care Health Plan (iCare)
iCare provides managed care coverage for over 45,000 people throughout Wisconsin, most of whom have low incomes or are disabled. iCare has been securing the wellness of people with complex conditions for over two decades. iCare is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Humana Inc. For more information about iCare, visit www.iCareHealthPlan.org or call 800-777-4376 (TTY 1-800-947-3529)
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Meet Eric, owner of Elderberry Hill Farms, which is on the outer edges of Madison, WI. He has been growing in the Madison area for 12 seasons already, mostly selling to local restaurants and to Second Harvest Foodbank. Current restaurants that Eric works with include Graze, A Pig in A Fur Coat, Ahan, Bandit, and Madison Club. He thrives off of working within the local community and spending time with his family.
His farm is unique as a diversified farm, meaning that he grows a wide arrange of produce (currently over 20 varieties of produce). On our visit to his farm, we saw beautiful vegetables such as curly kale, dinosaur kale, swiss chard, green peppers, carrots, onions, and more. We are grateful for the array of produce Eric’s farm has provided since the early days of the pandemic. As of July 2022, Second Harvest Foodbank has purchased 1,721,966 pounds of produce from Elderberry. Produce is then sent out to our community food pantry partners at no cost. Working with Eric has been a pleasure and a partnership we are working to secure for years to come.
While working in the community with local farms isn’t a new idea, it could be considered new for food banks. Often there is a stigma that food banks only have canned or even expired food. While there are extensions on many non-perishable items, we understand the significance and joy fresh food can bring. We recognized that here in Wisconsin we have an abundant growing season, and a large part of our service area is covered in agriculture. So, it makes sense that we should try to source as much local food as possible and support our community with these nutritious foods. This practice also supports our local economy, making our community more resilient and bringing us closer together.
“What is a legacy?” asks Alexander Hamilton in the hit musical about his life. “It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” As a relentless advocate for his vision of America, he sings these words while realizing that he may no longer be around to influence decisions. I come back to these lines over and over. They make me hope that, in the face of enormous challenges facing the community today, I too can have an impact.
If you think you need to be as good with language as Hamilton to plan your legacy, think again! Second Harvest is partnering with FreeWill to make it easier than ever to plan your legacy. Like it sounds, FreeWill will walk you through the process of making a real will, online, for free. They make it easy to plan a bequest to Second Harvest or other local nonprofits – though it is of course not required!
Mike Wilson, our Chief Administrative Officer, used FreeWill to put Second Harvest in his will. “Besides my role at Second Harvest, I volunteered as a temporary Finance Manager in the aftermath of natural disasters,” Mike shared. “My job was to maintain accountability for the many resources that get distributed in an emergency. When I deployed to Louisiana for two weeks to support Hurricane Ida relief, I was encouraged to make a will. Going into an active disaster area, anything could happen. I had a lot to do to prepare for my deployment, but using FreeWill made it easy to check this item off my list. And since I see the great work that Second Harvest does every day, including them in my will was an easy decision.”
When making your gift, you’ll have the opportunity to direct it to one of our endowment funds if you choose. We invest endowment funds for the long term and use the interest to further our mission. If you want your gift to have an impact for the longest possible time, this is the way to do that! You can choose to support our general operations. Or, by giving to the Thea Ashkenase Endowment Fund for Food For Thought, your gift will support children’s nutrition via school pantries. Read more about Thea and how we became part of her legacy. Or, you can get in touch with us if there’s something specific you want to support!
Maybe you’ve already made a will, though – good for you! If you’ve designated a gift to Second Harvest some other way, we’d love it if you would let us know! We want to be able to say thank you for considering our work as part of your legacy.
By giving to Second Harvest in your estate plan, you become part of a special group of donors who have invested in a future of nutrition security and food equity. The problem of nutrition insecurity is bigger than any one of us can tackle alone. But many people and organizations working together make a big difference. That difference is measured in the thousands of meals per day that we provide, and also in the strong systems that we co-create with local partners.
In the musical, Hamilton goes on to say “I wrote some notes in a great unfinished symphony/someone will sing for me.” Whether talking about a song or a garden, he reminds us that great work does not happen alone. Sometimes complicated problems outlast us. That’s why we must give future generations the tools and resources to continue the work. I hope you will consider joining the many supporters who have made a bequest to Second Harvest in their estate plans.
This summer, Second Harvest Foodbank will have a couple of new faces: folks from all around the world are volunteering with us this summer as a part of the AFS/ALEX community. We are a host site of the American Leadership Exchange Program, through the USA State Department.
AFS/ALEX programs empower young people from all backgrounds and cultures with essential skills. These are highly focused short-term, theme-based programs designed to empower folks to change their world, engage in hands-on activities and learn skills vital to becoming a global citizens of tomorrow. As a host site, Second Harvest showcases the food systems of Southern Wisconsin, and invites reflection on hunger and its impact throughout the world.
We’ve hosted two groups so far this year, with another group scheduled to volunteer with us later this year. The groups have all had a blast so far, and we can’t wait to see what they do next! Check out the pictures below!
Interested in volunteering with an amazing group? Click here to sign up to Volunteer Today!
Agency Partner & Programs Learning & Education Sessions
Join us for a how-to session on successfully finding, applying, and reporting for grant funding. This session is hosted by Kate Hephner, Grants Specialist.
We’ll also include an overview and details about:
- Staying organized
- Best practices for grant writing and reporting
Second Harvest Foodbank is committed to creating a volunteer community where everyone feels safe and welcomed. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on age, race, gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to cultivating an anti-racist environment for volunteers, staff, and community members.
What is racism? Racism equals race-based prejudice plus power for example economic or social power. It can be conscious or unconscious and occurs at the individual, institutional and structural levels. (Interpersonal racism: Prejudgment, bias, or discrimination by a White individual toward a person of color.)
What is discrimination? Unequal treatment of members of various groups, based on conscious or unconscious prejudice, which favors one group over others on differences of race gender, economic class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, language, age, national identity, religion, and other categories.
Anti-racist practices in the volunteer department:
- We welcome everyone and celebrate identity and difference. We practice affirming language.
- We commit regular time to reflect on our actions, practices, and structures. We are intentional about professional learning opportunities to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion both individually and departmentally.
- We focus on the impact of our words and actions, not intent. We believe our BIPOC volunteers, staff, and community members when they say something is racist, and we work to repair harm.
- We call out racism when we see it.
The application period for the Second Harvest Foodbank DATCP Equipment Capacity-Building Grant is now closed. We will inform applicants of the status of their application once the review process is complete on July 13th, 2022. If you are interested in hearing about future Second Harvest grant opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘I’m interested in grant emails’ and we will add you to our email list.
Second Harvest Foodbank now has a $150,000 Equipment Capacity Building Grant available to our Partner Agencies. The goal of the grant is to provide investment in the equipment and infrastructure needs of our partner agencies to help expand their capacity for storage, distribution, and other eligible DATCP expenses related to their work to end hunger in Wisconsin. These funds are from the DATCP 2022 Food Security Initiative funds that Second Harvest received through Feeding Wisconsin. This funding opportunity is one of the ways that Second Harvest is committed to our mission of ending hunger and advancing toward our strategic goals of food equity and nutrition security.
The total grant funds available is $150,000. The minimum award for this grant is $2,500 with a maximum of $15,000.
Funds will be available in mid-July 2022. Funds must be spent, corresponding paid invoices, and canceled checks submitted to Second Harvest by November 7, 2022. This is a one-time funding distribution. Award amounts vary according to the strength of the application focusing on how it will expand capacity, the related actions that will result in increased nutrition security, and the intended impact on their program’s effectiveness in their work to end hunger in Wisconsin. An application for funding doesn’t guarantee an award.
The deadline to apply for the grant is June 20, 2022. At that time, the process for reviewing applications by the Grant Selection Committee will begin. Any grant applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Announcements for grant applications receiving Funding will occur on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. If your grant application is selected for funding, you will receive the funds from Second Harvest via a check sent through the USPS, with which to make your purchase/repair.
See application materials for eligibility & reporting requirements. For questions regarding eligibility requirements or anything listed in the FAQ section, please contact: email@example.com
Below you will find the following grant materials.
Note: All PDFs are for your reference purposes only. To complete the application for this grant, please fill out the Online Application Form.
- Second Harvest Procurement Policy
- Equipment Capacity Building Grant Rubric
- Equipment Capacity Building Grant Instructions and Application (PDF, for reference of questions only)
- Cover Page (PDF, for reference purposes only)
- Online Application Form
For questions regarding eligibility requirements or anything listed in the FAQ section, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin are devastated by last weekend’s racially motivated killing of 10 people and injury of three additional people in Buffalo, NY, and are taking action to support the Buffalo community.
Second Harvest has made an organizational commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), recognizing the overlapping and interdependent systems of oppression that lead to food insecurity. Our mission is to end hunger in Southwestern Wisconsin, but we believe that in order to accomplish our mission we must actively call out racism, white supremacy, and other forms of oppression in any community. We also recognize the importance of supporting communities and partners in service of this belief. In light of the impact on food access in the East Side district of Kingsley, Second Harvest will be supporting FeedMore Western New York with its food acquisition and distribution work in Buffalo. We encourage you to pause and honor the lives lost in Buffalo and support that community through gifts to the FeedMore Western New York emergency response fund.
Thank you to our community for your ongoing support of Second Harvest and partnership in our work.
By Eva Wingren, Donor Relations Officer
If you’ve heard from me or one of our volunteers on the phone recently, we might have asked you a question. “What draws you to the issue of ending hunger?” No, this isn’t a pop quiz. We’re not collecting the data, though I am drawing on it for this post. I encourage my volunteer callers to ask because everyone has a reason for donating, even if they haven’t thought about it until I ask the question. And there is a lot of research to back up the idea that the stronger someone feels their “why,” the more likely they are to take further action. I call it my magic question.
Hearing people’s answers is the highlight of my day.
It reminds me that in addition to being donors, folks contribute to our work in so many other ways. Frequently, the people talk to volunteer at one of our partner pantries. Shout out to the donor who is also a pig farmer and feeds their pigs using food that doesn’t pass our quality inspection process for human consumption! Sometimes their passion for ending hunger was instilled by a parent. Sometimes they were encouraged to donate to us by their church or employer. Sometimes they want their money to go as far as possible in the local community. Sometimes they just love food. All are great answers!
Occasionally I hear from someone that they are drawn to ending hunger because their family once used the food bank. I am extra grateful to those who reveal this part of their history to me because I’m sure they have been stigmatized in the past. But we want to be a system that is there for anyone when they need it, whether one time or multiple generations. We want people to feel like they can use the food bank before their finances get so tight so they can spend their money on other necessities. If we are doing our jobs right, more and more people will be able to say, “You helped me when I needed it. Now I’m in a position to help others.”
In all of these conversations, what stands out is a faith in one simple idea: people need food, and they need it now. If I can help get it to them, it’s my duty to do so. Sometimes it is accompanied by anger or grief – why, in a society with so much wealth, have we not solved hunger? I can certainly relate to those feelings!
Personally, I have a couple of why’s, each stronger depending on the day. If you were to ask me “what draws you to the issue of ending hunger,” I might talk about my grandpa and his food shelf (that’s Minnesotan for “food pantry”!). Grandpa is 93 and doesn’t remember me very well, so every time we talk, I tell him that I work at a food bank, and he says, “did you know I used to run a food shelf?” And then he tells me the same stories of how he was the food shelf’s first employee and built all the partnerships with the local grocery stores himself. How he coordinated with the Christmas tree sellers to donate their leftover trees a few days before Christmas. By Christmas Day, every one of them was in the home of someone that couldn’t afford a tree, decorated and with presents under it. It’s a good reminder of the value of concerning ourselves not just with calories and nutrients but with facilitating experiences that allow people to show their love to each other.
I’ll be honest, I first judged him for all that running around. Why didn’t he just get his food from the food bank? It wasn’t until I had heard the story three times that I looked up the history of food banking and realized: there probably WAS no food bank. The first food bank was started in 1967, and Feeding America didn’t launch to coordinate a national network until 1976.
I have another “why” too – hey, I spend a lot of time thinking about this, ok? At the beginning of my career, I spent five years advocating for more funding for affordable housing at the federal level. Housing funding peaked in the 1970s and has been disappearing ever since. Meanwhile, the Section 8 voucher program that pays private landlords a percentage of the average local rent has been taking up a bigger and bigger share of the federal housing budget due to regular rent increases over time. Only one in four people eligible for housing assistance based on income ever receive it. It’s very common for people experiencing a housing crisis and trying to navigate the system for the first time to be told they can put themselves on a seven-year waiting list. Seven years, when they likely need help in days or weeks. A few newer programs like Rapid Re-Housing can help people in some circumstances sooner, but mostly, you are on your own if you need housing.
But somehow, food isn’t like that. Thanks to donors large and small, almost anyone in America who needs food can get it today. And keep getting it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and however long they need it. They can get it in the form of groceries if they can physically make it to a food pantry. They can often get food stamps that can be used at their local grocery store (click here for more information on Wisconsin’s FoodShare program). It’s something that people who work in housing can only dream of – it’s an imperfect system, and we’re always trying to make it better, but it WORKS. It works because many people, corporations, and sometimes local governments have collectively decided that we will not let people struggle with hunger. Even when stretched farther than it’s ever been during the pandemic, the food support system was up to the task. We distributed twice as much food as normal to combat the dramatic spike in food insecurity. If we can do it here, what else can we do?
If you’ve read this far, you probably have your own story of what draws you to the issue of ending hunger. I encourage you to take a moment to think about it, maybe even journal about it! The more we know what’s driving us to take action, the more powerful our collective actions will be!
MADISON, WI, April 14, 2022 – Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin announced today that they have awarded $200,000 in capacity-building grants to four area organizations to increase food equity in our community. The goal of the initiative is to learn from and build long-term racially diverse nutrition distribution strategies as defined by the community to address health disparities and advance food equity.
“Everyone in our community should have enough nutritious and culturally meaningful food to thrive,” said Michelle Orge, Second Harvest’s President/CEO. “These grants aim to support programs that increase food equity in communities of Color who disproportionally face food insecurity, and help us learn how to further improve food equity in the future.”
Grant proposals were accepted from February 1, 2022 through March 14, 2022. Proposals for projects ranging from $2,500 – $75,000 were accepted from groups and organizations that met the following criteria:
- Eligible applicants are designated as a registered 501c3 -or-
- Organizations, mutual aid groups, collectives, and tribal organizations that are fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 non-profit
- Projects must support community(ies) within the 16 counties in the Second Harvest service area
- Efforts should be led by, or conducted in partnership with, racially diverse communities impacted by food insecurity
A total of 36 eligible proposals were received, with funding requests nearing $1.8 million.
Funding for the grants must be used between April, 2022 and June, 2023. Details of the four proposals that will be funded are:
- Groundswell Conservancy will receive $7,800 to help create more equitable water access through a water distribution system. This new system will help Hmong growers produce culturally-relevant food for the Hmong and greater community, and help to create land security for growers to advance food sovereignty and food security.
- Kennedy Heights Community Center will receive $55,800 to fund a project that will center healthy, delicious, and culturally relevant food across all of their programs. They will begin a Resident Advisory Committee, revitalize their Community Garden space, and start a cooking club focused on sharing food traditions.
- REAP Food Group along with Roots4Change will receive $61,441 to help fund their Farm to Families program that highlights food preparation centering on cultural pathways, purchasing food from female and BIPOC growers, and the creation of a co-learning space related to cooking, breastfeeding, and food policy.
- The Hmong Institute will receive $75,000 to support their Food Care Box Program-access new products that are culturally relevant, address policy gaps in local food pantries, and support families currently on a waitlist.
The four proposals that were selected emphasize the following:
- Strategies that advance culturally meaningful foods distribution
- Testing food access entry points for racially diverse communities
- Community centered priorities and solutions with racially diverse leadership and partners
- Centering/Leveraging community assets and fostering authentic relationships
About Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin
Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin began working with local hunger-relief agencies in 1986. It helps end hunger in 16 southwestern Wisconsin counties through food distribution to its partner agencies, promotion of outside food assistance programs like FoodShare, and raising awareness of hunger. As southwestern Wisconsin’s largest hunger-relief charity it meets nearly one million requests for help each year. From July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 Second Harvest, together with its partner agencies and programs, provided 19 million meals. It is one of 200 members of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. For more information, visit SecondHarvestMadison.org.
Agency Partner & Programs Learning & Education Sessions
Join us for important information to promote food safety and protect the people you support as well as guidelines on sanitation and food handling & storage practices. This session is hosted by Scott Lyon, our wonderful Quality Assurance Manager.
We’ll also include an overview and details about:
- The Second Harvest Team behind Quality Assurance
- Foodborne Illness & Effects – Handling Food Safely: handwashing, food allergens, protective gear & attire
- Avoiding Food Contamination: types of contaminants/hazards, food storage practices, sanitizing, preparing food safely
- Each webinar will begin with a presentation or review of relevant information on the topic and be followed by a Q&A session to answer specific concerns and share best practices with each other.
Follow along with the slide deck.