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food donation barrel with WayForward Resources logo that reads DONATE HERE with a QR code, a large orange arrow and and stripes in navy, light blue and peachA crew of volunteers from Springs Window Fashions signed up for painting duty to give our food barrels a makeover ahead of our name change to WayForward Resources in May.

Springs has a strong history as a community partner and their role in this transition was fitting.

Some of WayForward’s donation barrels originally came from Springs — many years ago they received them with product deliveries and they later repurposed them as food barrels for company food drives.

Want to organize a food drive? Visit our drives page!

WayForward Resources was so excited to receive a donation from Metro Market and Pick ‘n Save stores of $30,000 of food and personal essentials weighing nearly 18,000 pounds to help fight hunger in our community. Staff and volunteers were thrilled when the truck filled with 20 pallets of everything from diapers and formula to spaghetti sauce and canned goods arrived. With the huge increase in demand we’ve seen, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Staff and volunteers were there to receive and then later sort the food. “The timing is perfect,” said Laurie Baker, long-time WayForward volunteer. “We needed the food desperately.” One volunteer who helped receive the donation was Kevin Walther. Kevin used to work at the Middleton Pick ‘n Save (now Metro Market) for five years bagging, stocking, and facing items. He’s been volunteering at WayForward for one year. Kevin wore his red cape because it reminds him of staying positive, working together, and helping others who need assistance. “You’re a hero for helping people out,” Kevin said.

“Inflation and the end of Covid-era assistance has led to us serving the equivalent of more than 90,000 meals a month, a 130% increase from last year,” said Ellen Carlson, Executive Director of WayForward Resources. “We are so excited about this donation from Metro Market and Pick ‘n Save stores because not only does it help fill our shelves with nutritious food for people in our community, but it will make available a huge variety of food, allowing people to select food that makes sense for them and their families.”

The generous donation received media coverage from News 3 Now, WKOW 27 and the Middleton Cross Plains Times-Tribune.

We are thankful for heroes like Kevin and Laurie and our friends at Metro Market and Pick ‘n Save stores who make it possible for more people in our community to access healthy food.

Have dinner plans for tonight? All month long, six Madison Originals restaurants will be collecting nonperishable food donations for MOM: 1847 at the Stamm House, Grape Water Wine Bar, Imperial Garden WestLongtable Beer CafeNitty Gritty in Middleton and Buck & Honey’s in Monona. “We want to make sure that we can help our community the best way we can,” Sarah Niehaus, director of Madison Originals, told the Wisconsin State Journal. The nonprofit association of local, independently owned restaurants put together the “Mad Can” food drive to benefit MOM and other local food pantries. Thank you to these restaurants for bringing our community together to build food security for our neighbors!

Check out recent media coverage of the Mad Can Food Drive and learn more about food security in our community!

NBC 15: Madison-area restaurants support food pantries with ‘Mad Can’ Food Drive

News 3 Now: Area restaurants taking part in food drive to help those in need

WKOW-TV: Madison restaurants join forces this February to support local food pantries

Wisconsin State Journal: 30 Madison-area restaurants collecting food pantry donations (WSJ)

 

At our food pantry, we frequently hear from clients who are in search of pet food for their furry family members.

Last Friday, a team from Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market delivered a donation of 13,000 cans of premium cat food for distribution to neighbors in our community facing the challenge of the rising costs of pet food.

“Our goal is to support the entire family, and we know that pets are an important part of the family,” says MOM Program Director Meghan Sohns. “Many of our clients will be thrilled to have access to this cat food for their pets.”

Financial barriers are one of the main reasons why 6.3 million companion animals (3.2 million cats) are surrendered to shelters each year, according to ASPCA.org. And the Washington Post reported in December that animal shelters across the country have seen an influx of pet surrenders over the last year as inflation affects household budgets.

“It’s so much better for pets to stay in the household and for us to provide these family needs,” says Emilie Williamson, Corporate Affairs Manager at Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market. “Pets are a big part of our families.”

In total, the grocers delivered more than 25,000 units of cat food to organizations in Madison and Milwaukee.

Watch News 3 Now’s coverage of the delivery.

MOM was proud to join with Rise Wisconsin to nominate Springs Window Fashions for the 2022 Outstanding Large Business Award from AFP Greater Madison.

Springs, the second-largest global manufacturer of custom window treatments, has been part of our community since 1946. With 420 employees right here in Dane County, Springs remains fiercely dedicated to its roots in the community and is focused on giving back. The company donated over $500,000 last year alone to nonprofits as well as provided volunteer and other in-kind support.

Springs’ support for MOM dates back to 2013. In addition to generous financial donations, their support has included regular food and clothing donations, participation in our Winter Wishes program, support of the Capital Campaign, and sponsorship of events. Thanks to a $30,000 donation from Springs in 2020, MOM was able to purchase a new van to transport donations of food and clothing as well as pre-packed food deliveries. In presenting Springs with this award, AFP Madison noted that the company “approaches their philanthropic and volunteer work as listeners, ready to do whatever is needed most.”

John Weinstock, Springs Executive Vice President for Marketing, accepted the honor on Springs’ behalf at the National Philanthropy Day event. MOM is grateful to partner with Springs to create stability in our community.

The Middleton Chamber of Commerce recently featured MOM in its regular “Member Spotlight” video series. MOM Executive Director Ellen Carlson spoke with the Chamber’s Lisa Quam about the rising demand for services from our food pantry and housing assistance programs, as well as how local businesses can get involved in supporting our mission to build food security and housing stability in our community. WATCH