Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency (RKCAA) is involved in several community food security efforts. As the provider of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services for Kenosha County, RKCAA was looking at solutions to increase the redemption rates for the WIC Farmer Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks that WIC families receive every season. In 2010, RKCAA established an onsite farm stand with Green Acres Farms which enabled clients to have the option of redeeming their FMNP checks when they came to the office to pick up their checks and attend nutrition activities.
Knowing that senior hunger is a problem in Kenosha and wanting to find a way to increase opportunities for seniors to access fresh produce, RKCAA explored possible solutions. Kenosha County is not a recipient of the federal Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Program, and there are no funds to expand the program to our community. Additionally, there are no farmer markets in Kenosha County that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Therefore, in 2013 RKCAA wrote a grant and received funding to pilot a project where 55 seniors would receive $20 in of vouchers to redeem at our on-site farm stand. Continue Reading
Wally Orzechowski, Executive Director of Southwest CAP (headquartered in Dodgeville) has been re-elected as President of the WISCAP Board of Directors. Wally will be serving his third term as President when new officers are seated at WISCAP’s annual meeting in May.
WISCAP’s Board of Directors consists of the executive directors and CEOs of the nineteen (19) member agencies of the association.
Also elected as officers of the Board, for a term which runs through April of 2016, are:
- Millie Rounsville, Executive Director of Northwest CSA (headquartered in Superior), as Vice-President
- Fred Hebert, Executive Director of Central Wisconsin CAC (headquartered in Wisconsin Dells), as Secretary
- Mike Huck, Executive Director of Lakeshore CAP (headquartered in Manitowoc), as Treasurer
- Bob Koller, Executive Director of NEWCAP (headquartered in Oconto), as an at-large member of the Executive Committee
- Jeff Sargent, Executive Director of North Central CAP (headquartered in Wisconsin Rapids & Wausau), as an at-large member of the Executive Committee
Mike Bonertz, Executive Director of ADVOCAP (headquartered in Fond du Lac), will also continue to serve on the Executive Committee as the immediate past-president of the Board.
Every night at 7 pm, a line of men and women carrying duffel bags and backpacks slowly moves forward as the doors are opened at a congregate homeless shelter in downtown Eau Claire. Many of these homeless individuals have been in line for well over an hour; earlier they took shelter at the public library, restaurants or social service businesses nearby.
This shelter, like many others in Wisconsin, provides the traditional “two hots and a cot” to thousands of people each year. An evening meal, a night of shelter and breakfast are provided and then everyone is back out on the streets during the day. While these services are desperately needed and definitely appreciated, it has become evident that traditional homeless shelters alone cannot solve the problem of homelessness. Continue Reading
The founders and framers of Community Action back in the 1960s were keenly astute and perceptive, as proven by their having established a successful institutional framework that has survived nationally – and in Wisconsin – for 50 years.
One of their more brilliant ideas was that Community Action Agencies (CAAs) establish and require a tri-partite governing Boards of Directors; one-third shall be elected public officials; at least one-third shall represent poor persons, and the remaining members shall represent specific groups of areas within the community. Continue Reading
The Delavan-Darien School District reports sixty-nine percent of its students receive free or reduced lunch, a number second only to Milwaukee Public Schools in a review of poverty in Wisconsin’s schools. The manager of Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless, located in the Town of Darien, sees this statistic as part of a larger trend of serving the working poor.
“Last year 22% of the homeless people who entered Twin Oaks already had employment and this year 29% entered with employment in place,” says manager Renae Mitchell. “In some cases people may even be working more than one job but their income still is not enough to meet obligations like child support, living expenses and rent.”
Living in poverty profoundly affects these families. Continue Reading