The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Evers and DATCP announce Food Box Grant for Tribal Elders

Applications open for up to $1.5 million in grant money to provide food for Tribal elders
Photo by Ambrosia Wojahn
Brewer Hall, home to UW-Eau Claire’s Campus Harvest Food Pantry.

Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced that applications have opened for the Tribal Elder Community Food Box Program grant.

According to a Feb. 19 press release, an appropriation of $1.5 million will be provided in the governor’s budget each year to fund this program. 

The release states that the program is designed to benefit nonprofit food organizations for the purpose of providing food to tribal elders. Another function of the program is the support of food producers and processors.

In addition to tribal producers in Wisconsin, the program intends to benefit those in other Midwestern states including Michigan, Minnesota and Iowa.

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As quoted in the press release, Evers said, “Far too many communities in our state struggle with food insecurity, but especially aging and older tribal adults. Advancing tribal food sovereignty has always been a priority for my administration.”

“Thanks to our dedicated state partners, this grant program will help increase access to nutritious foods in tribal communities and expand Indigenous producers’ capacity to supply culturally relevant food,” Evers said.

Sarah Snyder is a Student Assistance Manager at the Dean of Students office. She oversees UW-Eau Claire’s Campus Harvest Food Pantry

“This is the first I’m hearing of the grant program. I am certainly glad that food insecurity is still being researched and addressed in our state, and it’s always good news when ways are created and funded to support groups identified with food insecurity,” Snyder said.

Campus Harvest is located in Brewer Hall, Room 49. The pantry was developed in 2014 to aid students struggling with food insecurity. 

The pantry is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 2 to 5 p.m., Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m. Campus Harvest is exclusively open to UW-Eau Claire students.

While Campus Harvest doesn’t qualify for this particular grant, Snyder said the pantry benefits from a number of other grants for support.

“I work with the Foundation to help identify grants we might qualify for,” Snyder said. “The Feed My People Food Bank is also helpful in sharing information regarding financial support opportunities, and as part of the Swipe Out Hunger network, I get national-level updates there.”

According to the Evers Administration news release, the $1.5 million allotted will be awarded to applicants in 2024. 

The release states that the funding will “support current efforts to purchase and distribute food to tribal elders and support Indigenous-based food producers.”

There is no minimum request amount and any one applicant is permitted to apply for the full $1.5 million. The grant application deadline is 5 p.m. on March 29. The release says that selected projects may begin work using the funding in June.

The grant requires that purchased food be distributed to tribal elders at no cost.

Projects must collaborate with and partner on food security efforts with tribal nations in Wisconsin. Grant funds must be used to support tribal members and serve multiple tribal nations within the state,” the release said.

Grant information and application materials are available on DATCP’s website. For additional inquiries, contact DATCP at [email protected].

Wojahn can be reached at [email protected]

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