Madisonians raise money for refugees, immigrants facing food insecurity

Over 300 runners participated in the ‘Freeze for Food’ fundraiser, held at Vilas Park in Madison.
Published: Mar. 4, 2023 at 6:33 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Refugees and immigrants from all over the world have settled in Wisconsin over the years and on Saturday afternoon the Madison community gathered to show their support.

Over 300 runners participated in the ‘Freeze for Food’ fundraiser, held at Vilas Park in Madison. The event was hosted by Open Doors for Refugees and The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison and raised money to address food security issues that many refugees and immigrants in Wisconsin face.

Participants could choose to partake in a 5K, 10K, or walk. Leadership council members with Open Doors for Refugees Madeline Uraneck said the Madison community is extremely welcoming.

“Mostly it’s the people in Madison though, they put out furniture for us and we have taken the furniture and furnishings and have helped refugees furnish their apartments,” she said. “Volunteers have helped with transportation, people have helped with teaching English, and just making people feel welcomed in the community.”

Today was Judy Peterson’s first 5K on pavement. She said when she heard about where the funds were going, she was more than willing to participate.

“Because of the war in Ukraine, our life has changed and it’s opened our eyes to what we can do now. It’s a very good cause,” Peterson said. “Madison is a wonderful community. We have our lakes and our parks, and we have Governor Nelson State Park and a lot of beautiful places here, the Arboretum. A lot of places for everyone to go to.”

Since the race began in 1982, organizers have raised more than $127,000 for various nonprofits focused on food security.

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