Madison-area restaurants support food pantries with ‘Mad Can’ Food Drive

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:46 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 7:38 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As pandemic-era FoodShare benefits come to an end, demand at Middleton Outreach Ministry’s food bank has more than doubled. To keep up with the need, more than 30 local restaurants are partnering with Madison-area food banks for a month-long drive.

“This reduction in FoodShare benefits is going to affect thousands of families in Dane County,” Jenny Price, communications manager at MOM, said. “This effort to provide support now is really going to make a difference for the need that will be there in the coming months.”

Madison Originals, a nonprofit association of local restaurants, is organizing the “Mad Can” food drive where you can eat and give back locally.

“We’re so excited that these local restaurants are really answering the call and bringing the community together to make a difference,” Price said.

Price says community food drives like these have an impact, and help narrow the gap between supply and demand at the food bank.

“The next time you go grocery shopping, you can get some extra items in your cart, fill a bag, but then you don’t have to cook,” Price said. “Just take that bag to your local restaurant and enjoy a meal out in February. Seems like an easy thing to do.”

And it might be even easier than that.

“They don’t even need to come in for dinner. They can literally just drop the food off,” Troy Rost, managing partner of 1847 at the Stamm House said.

All participating restaurants, like 1847 at the Stamm House are independently and locally owned.

“We’re all little restaurants and none of us can afford marketing departments,” Rost said. “But there’s 30 of us, so we thought if we all come together we can have a big impact.”

Non-perishable items food items can be donated in the barrels located inside of the restaurants through the end of the month.

The drive covers food pantries in Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie and Verona.

Below is a list of participating food banks and their restaurant partners:

  • Badger Prairie Needs Network: Bonfyre American Grille, Buck & Honey’s - Waunakee, Driftless Social, Lombardino’s Italian, Old Feed Mill, Ollie’s, Quivey’s Grove, Yola’s Cafe
  • The River Food Pantry: Bandit Tacos & Coffee, Dotty Dumpling’s, Essen Haus, Nitty Gritty - Downtown, Parthenon Gyros, Pig in a Fur Coat, Porta Bella Restaurant, Short Stack Eatery, Tipsy Cow - Downtown
  • Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM): 1847 at the Stamm House, Grape Water Wine Bar, Imperial Garden West, Longtable Beer Cafe, Nitty Gritty - Middleton, Buck & Honey’s - Monona
  • Sunshine Place: Banzo, Buck & Honey’s - Sun Prairie, Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery, Grampa’s Pizzeria, Mariner’s Inn, Nitty Gritty - Sun Prairie, State Line Distillery, Tipsy Cow - Sun Prairie

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