VFC Cooperative Community Fund Grant
2020 recipient of the VFC Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) Grant!*
We are pleased to announce the 2020 VFC Co-op Community Fund Grant Recipient is the Family & Children’s Center Viroqua. They received a $600 grant to put together and hand out 60 holiday food baskets for their clients.
The Family & Children’s Center Viroqua serves 60 community members that are diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. With the community dinner being cancelled and Family & Children’s Center not able to host one due to COVID-19, they are worried about their clients having less opportunities to feel connected to others in the community and have access to nutritious food. They are aiming to make their clients holidays a little brighter by providing them with a holiday food basket, which is right in line with the goals of VFC’s Co-op Community Fund’s goal of funding projects that support social change and healthy nutrition.
2019 recipient of the VFC Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) Grant!*
It is with great pleasure that we announce our 2019 VFC Co-op Community Fund (CCF) Grant Recipient: Viroqua’s McIntosh Memorial Library. They were chosen by our review committee to receive a $500 grant to expand their free “Culinary Literacy” programming in 2020.
In 2019, the Library offered a number of food and gardening programs with great engagement from the community. They had children in their after-school program start seeds, plant, and tend to the plants in the planters in their outdoor courtyard. They also planted a container herb garden inside the library.
During the summer and fall, the Library used the produce from the container gardens as part of weekly cooking classes with kids and four cooking classes for adults. They also hosted a cooking demonstration by Inga Witscher, the host of Wisconsin Public Television’s Around the Farm Table. Additionally, they hosted adult education classes on beekeeping, maple syrup production and raising backyard chickens.
With this grant, the Library is excited to expand their cooking and gardening programming in 2020, including:
- Purchasing supplies for the 2020 vegetable and herb garden in their courtyard.
- Increasing the number of food and cooking programs offered for both kids and adults in 2020.
The grant would help cover the cost of purchasing food and supplies for these classes.
2018 recipients of the VFC Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) Grant!*
Both of the organizations have projects that work with local food, the local food economy, and students. The Ferryville Farmers Market project focuses on mentoring students on the early stages of food production by way of planting, growing and selling food. The Youth Initiative High School students learn about the later stages of food production through entrepreneurial and culinary skills by running Food for Thought, a food truck business that also raises money for the school.
Ferryville Farmers Market
A $500 grant was awarded to the Ferryville Farmers Market for a youth grower/vendor initiative, which recruits Middle School Students from home school, public and private schools of the region to be growers and sellers at the Ferryville Farmers Market.
Members of the Ferryville Farmers Market who are produce sellers will partner with interested students to mentor the students as they choose their seeds, determine optimal growing conditions, grow seedlings for starter plants and transplanting.
By introducing students to being a Farmers Market Vendor, the business opportunity is understood through experience. Having success at growing and selling will be a motivation to learn more, develop the business concepts and be rewarded through experiencing and seeing results. In turn, the students as vendors expand what is available and offered at the Market which grows the Market’s reputation. Customers have a natural tendency to want to support students. It is a positive environment for students as they learn about business concepts, such as: planning, marketing, merchandising, and customer service.
Youth Initiative High School
A $500 grant was awarded to YIHS for their school kitchen and the Food For
Thought (FFT) program. FFT is a food truck business run and operated by students, whose mission is to teach students culinary and entrepreneurial skills and doubles as a school fundraiser.
FFT is committed to sourcing organic ingredients from local farmers as much as possible. FFT appears each year at the Driftless Music Festival, the Driftless Art Festival, the Harvest Parade and other local events.
YIHS will use the grant money toward the purchase of necessary supplies and equipment for the FFT program, including cookware and knives.
Priority is given to grant requests for educational projects, development projects, and local events that match VFC’s mission and focus on but are not necessarily limited to: food and food systems, nutrition, health and well-being, cooking education, sustainable agriculture, cooperative education, and social change.
VFC CCF is an endowment that is administered through Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation (501(c)(3)), which makes tax deductible donations to the VFC CCF. As more money is added to the fund, we accrue more interest and can give out larger grants. Be sure to round up your purchases at the register during October to contribute to the VFC Cooperative Community Fund and help make a bigger impact!
*The VFC Cooperative Community Fund was established in 2016 with the specific goal of providing grant funding to local nonprofit organizations that have a mission consistent with the Viroqua Food Co+op. Priority is given to grant requests for educational projects, development projects, and local events that match VFC’s mission and focus on but are not necessarily limited to: food and food systems, nutrition, health and well-being, cooking education, sustainable agriculture, cooperative education, and social change.