We asked motivated Madisonians: What’s your bright idea for 2016? Chris Brockel is executive director at Healthy Food for All. Find all of the 2016 bright ideas compiled here.
In 2016, I want to distribute to food pantries and community centers 50,000 lbs. of locally grown produce and 50,000 lbs. of high quality prepared food from restaurants and corporate cafeterias that would otherwise be thrown away.
Food banking is dependent on people going to the grocery store, purchasing something off the shelf that’s highly processed, putting it in the food barrel and having it redistributed through food pantries. I saw plenty of that at CAC (Community Action Coalition). The system is set up to move corporate food that’s in excess into food pantries.
We can get fresh vegetables from local farmers and community gardens. If we clean them and aggregate and distribute, people will be more likely to use them. We package vegetables CSA style, in bags, then take them to the East Madison Community Center, the Salvation Army Community Center and the Stoughton Youth Center.
This region has the capacity to fulfill the needs of lower income families, or families that are in poverty. We can do a lot better, not just taking care of ourselves but taking care of less fortunate families in our community and moving them closer to the source of their food.
We’re helping to feed people, also helping the environment. You’re saving all this food that is now going to a landfill. There is so much food out there that can be easily had. It’s about building the capacity of our project; that means people power, packaging, transportation and storage.