Identified food security issues and market opportunities: Fostered relationships between pantries. Pursued Hunger Task Force study that demonstrated sufficient capacity in Kenosha County for an independent food bank. Forged new partnerships across public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to assess interest in—and support of—an independent food bank.
Consolidated sources of support: Convened five food-relief organizations monthly to formalize and operationalize organizational agreements that aligned programming and leveraged resources. Identified leadership as an Advisory Board and called six meetings of this cross-sector group of food security advocates and corporate strategists to guide the formation of a new non-profit.
Established KCFB Board of Directors: Granted 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit status by the IRS, signed into Memorandums of Understanding with seven Kenosha County-based pantries and food programs.
Convened local food pantry operators: Optimized food procurement and distribution among a network of programs while seeking to enhance services provided to more than 2,000 unduplicated individuals annually.
Began limited food distribution: Began accepting and coordinating local distribution of large food donations directly from Kenosha County food processing companies. Continued relationship-building with area companies and donors.
Identified facility options: Engaged with public and private sector partners to identify warehousing spaces.
Organized five large, public food distribution events: Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture through its Farmers-To-Families program, launched public food distribution events in partnership with Gordon Food Service. Events were hosted by Carthage College, Kenosha County and Prime Industrial Contractors. Raised our public profile and credibility while testing our distribution capacity. Distributed fresh and frozen products, valued at $90,000, to more than 1,500 local families.
September 2020–February 2021
Received two significant grant awards: Secured a grant totaling $117,000 from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to purchase a 24-foot refrigerated box truck. Successfully obtained a $25,000 grant from Kloss Charitable Trust to enable the hire of an Executive Director.
Created Feeding America linkages: Began engaging Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin to establish an agreement as a Re-Distribution Organization (RDO), aiming to serve as a hub for all food distributed to Kenosha County programs.
Formalized contract with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and Racine County Food Bank. This brings capacity to KCFB to serve local programs while presenting new opportunities to engage those affiliated with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.