Second Harvest Adds Food For Thought Program
FOOD FOR THOUGHT INITIATIVE FINDS A HOME WITH SECOND HARVEST FOODBANK TO SERVE MORE FAMILIES FACING HUNGER IN MADISON SCHOOL DISTRICT
[MADISON, JUNE 29, 2020] — Today Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin and the Madison-based Food For Thought Initiative (Food4TI) announced that they will be combining efforts to better serve area families. Effective July 1, the Food For Thought Initiative will become a Second Harvest program.
The Food For Thought Initiative began in 2016 by Founder Lea Aschkenase. Its mission is to improve food access and alleviate hunger among Madison public school students and their families. Food4TI operates in-school pantries in Madison schools which have high rates of food insecurity and weekend take-home food bag programs. Currently, the Food4TI includes food pantries in East High School, Sandburg Elementary, Mendota Elementary, Cherokee Heights Middle and Hawthorne Elementary schools. It also includes Thea’s Table (a weekend bagged food program for families throughout the Madison Metropolitan School District experiencing homelessness or crisis), and a weekend bagged food program for Thoreau Elementary School students.
Aschkenase was inspired to start the Food For Thought Initiative by her mother, Thea, who as a teenager in Nazi Germany survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. Thea never forgot the feeling of hunger from her time in Auschwitz, and spent much of her life working to reduce food insecurity in children.
“Since our inception, we have aspired to sustain and expand our programming to meet the nutritional needs of our students and their families,” said Aschkenase. “Access to ample healthy food is a basic human right and is essential to ensuring academic and personal success. This opportunity to combine our efforts with Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin is the perfect fit to allow us to collaboratively meet the rising food needs in Madsion.”
By merging their efforts, Second Harvest and Food4TI will be combining skills, knowledge, expertise, and resources to help expand the program. Additionally, the move will reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and centralize the resources available to the Madison Metropolitan School District in regards to food insecurity, and help them better meet the nutritional needs of area students in the future.
“We are excited about what this change will mean for kids facing hunger in the Madison-area,” said Michelle Orge, president & CEO of Second Harvest Foodbank. “The reality is that both organizations have the same mission – to feed people; and by joining forces we will be able to serve more kids, and help them learn and grow to meet their full potential.”