Badger Prairie Needs Network expands ability to store fresh food
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Badger Prairie Needs Network (BPNN) expanded their cold storage unit Wednesday to help meet the emergency food needs amid COVID-19 in Wisconsin.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined BPNN to announce the expansion, which includes 1,000 additional square feet of cold storage, a loading dock for contactless delivery of food from food banks and an outdoor canopy to protect people from the weather. The cooler will serve as a drop-point for perishable foods that smaller pantries on the west side need, but have no storage to hold.
Parisi noted that hunger in Dane County is at an all-time high this year, with BPNN and other large pantries reporting a 63% increase in requests for food assistance compared to 2019.
BPNN has served 5,450 households and 19,700 individuals so far in 2020.
Parisi explained that this investment will allow the community’s food distribution system to better serve those struggling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taking these steps will keep local supply chains strong—ensuring our community members continue to have access to healthy, nutritious meals,” he said.
According to a news release, Dane County has already sent four cold storage semi-trailers to assist Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin with storing more meat, dairy and produce. Dane County then put over $320,000 toward BPNN’s storage expansion to help their short and long-term need for a food storage hub.
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