As of June 2016, MUNCH is two years old!
Madison Unites to Nourish Children at Home (MUNCH) has been providing healthy, nutritious food to Dane County children and teens directly in their neighborhoods for just over two years. The program was founded to address the need for child nutrition during summer vacation. Child hunger goes beyond an empty stomach. It hinders a child’s ability to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. The River has been working to eliminate food insecurity since 2011 and our MUNCH program meets hunger at the doorstep.
MUNCH fuels children throughout the school year on weekends, school holidays, cold winter breaks, and hot summer vacations. MUNCH also features on-site distribution each Friday. Families with children are able to receive extra nutrition while they shop for healthy food and produce, share in a community meal, receive household basics, as well as fostering a community of encouragement and compassion to those in need.
In June of 2016, MUNCH distributed lunches to only one neighborhood over the summer. Now MUNCH services eight different neighborhoods in need. In 2017 we were gracious to receive a $50,000 grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation to purchase a new MUNCH Van. Through the years our approach and expansion have grown exponentially.MUNCH is projected to have over an 800% increase since it launched. Countless hours from volunteers made this program possible and continue to make it run every day.
MUNCH has seen tremendous growth since it started 2 years ago. We will continue to expand to ensure we’re providing extra nutrition to as many kids as we can.
– Rhonda Adams, Vice President &Director of Advancement, The River Food Pantry
After two years of dedicated service to children, teens, and their caretakers in Dane County, MUNCH is on the track to have the most successful year to date. We currently distribute an average of 419 lunches per offsite day. During on-site Friday pantry sessions, we distribute an average of 362 lunches. This summer we even hired a MUNCH Program Intern, Anna Novak. Anna is a UW- Madison Dietetics and Global Health student who will be helping with distribution, production and program impact alongside Joey Dunscombe, MUNCH Coordinator.
I have learned that nourishment is so incredibly important at a young age for growth, development, and learning. MUNCH strives to bridge the gap and helps kids thrive.
–Anna Novak, MUNCH Program Intern, The River Food Pantry
While our mission is steadfast, MUNCH is growing fast and we need your help to continue to nourish Dane County children. With your help our communities grow. With your help,we can continue to end child hunger.