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Promega kitchen staff donate extra time, ingredients to Badger Prairie Needs Network

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With two-thirds of employees working from home, chefs at Fitchburg biotech company Promega have fewer mouths to feed. With the extra time and ingredients on their hands, the culinary team is using it to help the community.

“On a daily basis, pre-COVID, we’d probably serve 500 people per day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and then we do catering,” Kerra McConnel, catering experience partner at Promega said.

The kitchen staff is still making food for Promega employees, but also cooking up homemade family style meals twice a week for Badger Prairie Needs Network, a food pantry in Verona.

“We get a lot of stuff from our own garden here on campus,” cook Jared Austin said. “Other things we don’t grow or don’t have enough of, we buy from other farmers in the area.”

Maggie Gleason with Badger Prairie says attendance at the pantry has gone up 65 percent due to COVID-19. But since the Promega culinary team started donating on July 1, Badger Prairie has received 3,740 lbs of food, amounting to about 3,100 individual meals.

“This extra food being donated to us every week has been instrumental for us to be able to continue our service,” Maggie said.

Instrumental not only for the community, but those behind the cause.

“...Getting the kitchen staff back to work, keeping us busy, keeping us employed and helping the community, it’s an incredible position to be in,” Kerra said.

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