Dane County Approves $2 Million Emergency Grant Program to Increase Food Supplies for Local Pantries
Local food pantries will soon be able to apply for Dane County’s $2 million emergency grant program to increase food supplies, County Executive Joe Parisi announced today. A resolution establishing this new grant program was approved at last night’s Dane County Board meeting. The funding will help local food pantries that are seeing record demand from recent spikes in grocery prices.
“Many Dane County households are facing economic stress from rising prices. Our local food pantries are working around the clock to provide residents affordable, nutritious food, but they need more support,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Through this program, we hope to keep the shelves of food pantries well stocked and provide our local food pantries with the financial boost they need to serve our community during this difficult time.”
Dane County’s emergency food supply grant program is being funded with a portion of its American Rescue Plan allocation and involves two main expenditures. The first is a $2 million dollar grant program for local non-profit food pantries. To be eligible, an organization must be a charitable, tax exempt organization with a 501(c) (3) non-profit designation focused on alleviating food insecurity. The second part of the initiative is up to $98,500 to help the Badger Prairie Needs Network (BPNN) purchase a truck to transport surplus food from places like Epic and the new Costco store in Verona.
Since March of 2020, the Dane County community has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused financial stress to many individuals and households and has caused economic dislocation due to losses of employment. More recently, inflationary pressures in the general economy and supply chain changes have cause increased food insecurity in Dane County. Increases in the price of gasoline, food, and rent have caused economic stress in many households. This stress has dramatically increased demand at local food pantries. These economic forces have also increased the cost for local pantries to secure food to meet the demand.
The Dane County Department of Human Services will contact local pantries in the coming days with information about how they can apply for the county's emergency food supply grants.