Tikkun Ha-Ir Milwaukee has been working in the food justice and rescue space for almost a decade and has been running Veggie Chop Shop (VCS) since 2015. They have developed deep relationships with a multitude of partners both individual and organizational ranging from volunteers and chefs to farmers markets and recipient agencies throughout the central city. Veggie Chop Shop has three main elements:
- Volunteers “glean” or rescue surplus produce from Farmers Markets. Food that is collected would have otherwise gone to waste and into landfills or compost piles.
- At-risk women, often in prison, and women from the Jewish community come together to cook and prepare the rescued fresh produce into healthy vegetarian meals. In the process, at risk women gain culinary skills, learn about new approaches to cooking with fresh vegetables, build community and give back to others.
- From these cooked meals, over 400 people are served per week in rehabilitation programs including Meta House, Sojourner Family Peace Center, and Nia Imani. In addition, another 600 lbs. of fresh produce per week are taken directly to food pantries. Over the course of the 2019 program, over 10,000 lbs. of produce were distributed and over 4,000 cooked meals were provided.
For the 2020 season of Veggie Chop Shop, Tikkun Ha-Ir’s goal is to strengthen the program in the following ways:
- upgrade kitchen facilities (new larger rental space, large scale for weighing produce, upgrading equipment, packaging, etc.)
- engage more volunteers and at-risk women
- broaden our culinary & nutrition training (new educational programs)
- expand the number of recipient organizations
The full cost of the program is $25,000 – $30,000.
As you discern your Lenten almsgiving this year, we hope you will join the family of four parishes in supporting this dynamic organization as we strive to alleviate the pressing needs of those most vulnerable in our community.
Please make your check payable to “Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee” and return by Easter Sunday.