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Wello Receives $180,000 WI LFPA Grant to Expand Cultivating Community

Wello is thrilled to announce the organization was one of nine recipients chosen by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to receive a Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (WI LFPA) Community Partners Grant. Wello was awarded $180,000 to support the expansion of the Cultivating Community Healthy Food Access Program.

Cultivating Community is Wello’s relationship-based, community-led food distribution system that leverages trusted community spaces to distribute locally-sourced produce to low-income, BIPOC, and socially disadvantaged populations in Northeast Wisconsin. This initiative was created in 2020 in response to the pandemic and has grown each year in the number of participating organizations. These funds will allow for deliveries to continue with our existing partners Casa ALBA Melanie, We All Rise: African American Resource Center, COMSA, and Vivent Health.

COMSA Produce Drop
Members of the COMSA team prepare produce bags for their clients.

“Access to healthy, local, and fresh food is central to well-being,” said Natalie Bomstad, Wello Executive Director. “Food also has the power to nourish, connect, and build well-being in a way that equitably supports full lives. We are proud to have the opportunity to expand our Cultivating Community initiative with the support of WI-LFPA. This food will be purchased directly from local farms across Northeast Wisconsin and distributed in ways that promote dignity and respect. As we continue our mission to co-create collective well-being across our community, rooted in equity, these partnerships are critical to showcase what is possible when we work together.”

These funds will also allow for the expansion of this model to new partners and agencies. This year Wello will welcome Innovative Services Inc. (ISI), a nonprofit that cares for people with disabilities headquartered in Green Bay, Oneida Nation, St. Vincent de Paul, and a group of school pantries. 

“ISI is thrilled to share locally grown fresh food with our clients with disabilities,” said Michael Schwartz, CEO of Innovative Services Inc.. “ISI operates twenty-six homes in the Greater Green Bay area, and these homes will start cooking up the produce this summer. With the rising cost of groceries, this produce adds more fresh food to each of our houses. It’s healthy food, locally grown, and makes a big impact in supporting our amazing population.”

This one-time funding, provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service, is designed to support the purchase of Wisconsin grown, raised, or minimally processed food and distribute it at no cost to underserved communities in Wisconsin. You can read the full DATCP press release here

Asian Produce Cooking Ingredients

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