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Foundation Delivers Healthy Futures

We know that access to nutritious food is essential to health and wellbeing. In 2022, Sauk Prairie Healthcare Foundation partnered with the Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry on the Go Fresh project to deliver fresh produce to students in the school district. The project was an overwhelming success.

“With the implementation of Go Fresh, we have enjoyed hearing about students who did not know what a pear was, tried it, and found they loved pears!” said Kristi Ballweg, Director of the Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry. “We were also approached by and fulfilled the request of the summer school program’s wish to offer fresh fruit for these six weeks.”

To expand Go Fresh, the Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry wanted to find an efficient way to deliver this fresh produce to the school district, as well as make other types of food deliveries to their clients. The Pantry decided to purchase a small cargo van and was eyeing a used 2014 Ford Transit van with a price tag of $19,999.

This new initiative, called “Delivering a Healthy Future,” started as a simple request. Kristi prepared a Community Grants proposal, asking the Foundation for money to put toward the purchase of the van. The Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry’s request for $2,500 was the maximum request amount for the Foundation’s Grants program. If awarded, the grant needed to be combined with funds from additional sources, like Second Harvest Foodbank.

Kristi closed her request by saying, “This initiative would be a great extension of the collaboration between Sauk Prairie Healthcare and the Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry.”

The Foundation Board’s Grants and Gifts Committee reviewed the application and decided to provide $10,000 to help the Pantry purchase the van.

“The Foundation’s mission is to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Dr. Janelle Hupp, Chair of the Grants and Gifts Committee. “There is no need as essential as food. The Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry has a proven track record of innovating and meeting this need for a variety of populations. We were pleased to be able to make the purchase of this van possible.”

The Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry was able to purchase the van to deliver food to those who cannot travel to the pantry. It sports a decal thanking the Foundation.

“The people at the Sauk Prairie Area Food Pantry are great to work with,” said Todd Wuerger, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We both have the same goal in mind – protecting the health and wellbeing of the community. They were very grateful for our support. And our support is only possible thanks to our do who believe in our mission.”

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