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Dane County to Award Extended Hands Food Pantry $425,000 to Help Address Ongoing Food Insecurity

January 18, 2024
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi announced Dane County will award Extended Hands Food Pantry $425,000 to help address food insecurity—a difficulty many Dane County residents continue to face following the economic impacts and inflationary pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were included in County Executive Parisi’s 2024 budget and will bolster Extended Hands’ efforts to provide ethnic and culturally appropriate foods for an increasing number of county residents.

“Every Dane County resident deserves access to healthy, nutritious food, no matter their economic circumstances,” said County Executive Joe Parisi. “This grant will expand Extended Hands Food Pantry’s reach to even more Dane County residents. We appreciate the hard work Extended Hands carries out to support our community and look forward to seeing the positive impact this grant will have on those who are struggling to put food on the table.”

The COVID-19 pandemic brought financial stress to many individuals and households, and caused economic dislocation due to losses of employment. More recently, inflationary pressures in the general economy and supply chain have increased food insecurity in Dane County. Increases in the price of gasoline, food, and rent have caused economic stress in many households. This stress has dramatically increased demand at local food pantries. These economic forces have also increased the cost for local food pantries to secure food to meet demand.

“Access to housing and food are two of the biggest goals that the county can support,” said Dane County Board Supervisor Jeffrey Glazer. “While based here on the west side, Extended Hands Pantry supports the whole county with groceries and other household items. That Extended Hands Pantry grew so quickly is a testament to their understanding of the needs of the community. Extended Hands' focus on culturally-sensitive foods is much needed support in ensuring access to food for everyone.”

The intent of Dane County’s grant is to support an emerging organization doing community based work during the pandemic. Extended Hands has the need to expand cooler and dry good storage for bulk delivery and large scale food distribution capabilities. This grant provides Extended Hands the opportunity to 1) purchase culturally relevant food, 2) improve food distribution infrastructure, and 3) pursue the expansion of, or needed adaptation to, any current operating expenses to increase food security for Dane County residents.

A resolution to approve this grant allocation will be introduced to the Dane County Board at tonight’s meeting. It is expected to be approved in the coming weeks.

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