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Partnerships Provide Nutritious Options to MOM Clients

Partnerships Provide Nutritious Options to MOM Clients
January 4, 2018 Food PantryBusinesses

A partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and Willy Street Co-Op is providing MOM clients with new skills and tools to prepare nutritious meals for their families. Thanks to their FoodWIse and Pantries of Plenty (POP) programs more families in our community are able to enjoy healthy food.

FoodWIse, formerly known as the Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program (WNEP), is a community nutrition education program run through the University of Wisconsin-Extension. The goal of the program is to help families with limited financial resources available to purchase their family’s food adopt healthy food choices. They do this by working with community food pantries to help clients learn how to spend dollars food wisely, teach parents how to plan and prepare healthy food and introduce children to new healthy foods.

To accomplish these goals, Udai Olivares, a FoodWIse educator, visits the MOM Food Pantry where he provides interesting and easy to implement cooking lessons during pantry hours. Udai, MOM volunteers, and the Food Pantry Manager prepare recipe bags full of food to coincide with his lessons. This helps clients learn healthy and easy ways to cook and gives them options they didn’t have before. Recently, a recipe bag featured canned pumpkin for a pasta sauce. "I never thought of putting canned pumpkin in pasta!” one client said. “My kids thought it was delicious."

Another community partnership also helps make this program successful. Willy Street Co-op operates a program called Pantries of Plenty (POP) which operates through the holiday season. Through this program, the Co-op helps provide area food pantry with fresh food items that are often hard to come by. Funds are raised by donations of shoppers which are then matched by the Co-op. Last year, MOM used the POP funds to purchase healthy shelf stable foods to go in the Recipe bags.

 

These partnerships allow us to create exciting new programs to give clients enhanced opportunities and easier access to nutritious food.

 

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