Madison Originals Leading Food Drive For Mom And Other Local Pantries Throughout February
MIDDLETON - A group of Middleton-area restaurants is giving diners the chance to make a difference in their communities this February.
All month long, more than 30 members of Madison Originals, a non-profit association of local, independently-owned restaurants, will be collecting non-perishable food donations for its “Mad Can” Food Drive for Madison-area food pantries. Madison Originals matched up each of the pantries with a group of local restaurants that will donate the proceeds of their drive directly to that organization. Each restaurant will have collection barrels for donations.
“Food security for our neighbors is the most important thing and it’s directly related to what we do,” says Troy Rost, managing owner of 1847 at the Stamm House restaurant, one of six restaurants donating the proceeds of its drive to Middleton Outreach Ministry. The other restaurants paired with MOM for the drive include: Grape Water Wine Bar, Imperial Garden West, Longtable Beer Cafe, Nitty Gritty in Middleton and Buck & Honey’s in Monona.
“All of our little restaurants, we’re all independent, so we’re all local,” Rost says. “Everybody wants to help the group in their own community, and diners know their donations will stay in the community. This is literally going to help people down the street.”
The other pantries benefitting from the food drive include Badger Prairie Needs Network, The River Food Pantry and Sunshine Place. The drive begins as area food pantries are seeing record demand for their services, which is expected to grow in March when extra FoodShare benefits put into place during the pandemic come to an end. Visits to MOM’s food pantry have doubled since last year, says Executive Director Ellen Carlson.
“We’re so excited to see this community effort to bring more food into the pantry,” Carlson says. “We need food drives like this to help us bridge the gap between how much food we have coming into the pantry and how many more people are using our services.”
Mid-winter is often a slower time for restaurants, Rost says, and he hopes the drive will encourage people in the community to check out his restaurant and others while helping support their neighbors at the same time.
“I really want to see this become an annual event. The fact that we have over 30 restaurants involved, we could have a significant impact doing this and see it grow,” Rost says. “I also want people to come and see their small, independent restaurants and appreciate that this has been a rough couple years for us – it would be a win-win.”
Contacts: Jenny Price, email@example.com, (608) 826-3408; Troy Rost, (608) 320-0232; Sarah Niehaus, firstname.lastname@example.org, (920) 579-3456
For more information about the Mad Can Food Drive, visit www.facebook.com/madisonoriginals
For more information about MOM, visit momhelps.org