REAP Food Group, Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison Parks, City of Madison, and Public Health Madison &
Dane County partner to provide free summer meals
Free Summer Food Program Launched June 24
with alder Sheri Carter, REAP Executive Director Helen Sarakinos, Leopold Elementary principal Peg Keeler, and MMSD’s Food and Nutrition
Director Steve Youngbauer addressed the community and press at 11:30 a.m. MMSD and REAP Food Group provided free lunch and Farm to School
activities, and Elmore Lawson performed live music for this free public event. Several community partners hosted special activities at the kickoff as
well. Dane County Library sent the Bookmobile to Leopold Park, Madison Water Utility hauled out the Water Wagon, and the city clerk hosted a mock
election. The Madison Public Library and Fitchburg Library also were at the event with activities. Other appearances were made by the Madison
Parks Department, Fitchburg K9 Unit, Fitchburg Fire Department, and UNIDOS.
The partners aim to serve more children by increasing public awareness of and improving access to the free meals for both children and families.
REAP Food Group will hand out free summer lunches to all children and their accompanying adults at Leopold Park and Southdale Park every
Monday through Friday, June 24 through Aug. 16 (except July 4 and 5), from 12-1 pm. REAP’s Farm to School Program will also provide fun,
educational activities daily.
In addition to the Leopold and Southdale sites, there are dozens of other locations in the Madison area, including schools, community centers,
apartments and more, that will serve free breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks this summer. No registration or identification is required to receive
meals; all youth 18 and under eat for free. To find sites and meal times, visit mmsd.org/food or text “food” or “comida” to 877-877.
Along with REAP Farm to School educational lunchtime activities at Leopold and Southdale parks, all MMSD Summer Food Program sites will
feature locally grown, farm-fresh vegetables, coordinated by REAP Food Group and MMSD Food and Nutrition Department.
For two decades, REAP Food Group has been working throughout Southern Wisconsin to build and sustain a local food system that supports small
family farms and locally owned businesses, promotes sustainable agricultural practices, and provides access to fresh, healthy food for the entire
community. REAP offers Farm to School programs, including healthy snack options for elementary school students as well as Buy Fresh, Buy Local,
a certification program for businesses. For more information, call (608)310-7836 or visit www.reapfoodgroup.org.
MADISON, WI – An innovative partnership of public and nonprofit partners is
addressing food insecurity for children and families in Madison again this
summer. REAP Food Group, Madison Metropolitan School District, the City of
Madison, Public Health Madison & Dane County and community partners are
coming together to improve and expand the Summer Food Program. This
program provides free summer meals to all children 18 and under at nearly
three dozen sites city wide.
"The Summer Food Program is a critical strategy to bridge the gap for kids who
may struggle to find a meal while school is out,” said Matthew Fornoff, REAP
Farm to School and Community Director. “Even more, with support from the city
and other partners, this innovative approach to serving at open park sites gives
us the chance to connect with our community, to engage, educate, and learn
from them so we can better serve Madison neighborhoods that face food and
The Summer Food Program began Monday, June 24 with a special kickoff
event from 11:30-1 pm at Leopold Park. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, along