Our Mission

Recognizing that research unequivocally demonstrates that hunger impairs health, learning, behavior and the ability to attend and focus, the mission of Food for Thought is to improve food access and alleviate hunger among Madison public school students and their families.


Food for Thought Initiative named the weekend program Thea’s Table in honor of Thea, the mother of Food4TI’s founder, Lea Aschkenase. Thea was a teenager in Nazi Germany when she was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp. She never forgot the feeling of hunger, and spent much of her life working to reduce food insecurity in children. Thea came to Thea’s Table to tell us about her experience, and she even volunteered for us until her death in the spring on 2019. We are grateful for her wonderful example.


Food for Thought‘s commitment is to continue its current programs — Thea’s Table Weekend Family Food Program, In-school pantries, and the Thoreau Elementary Weekend Food Bag Program — AND to open one new in-school pantry per school year in a Madison Metropolitan School  having a high rate of food insecurity.