Big Share Fundraiser to REAP Benefits for Child Nutrition
By Liz Schnee
On Tuesday March 1, the second annual Big Share fundraiser will be held online by the nonprofit organization REAP. REAP has been working in Madison for 18 years with a goal of building a more just and sustainable food system. They work to increase community access to healthy foods and to encourage students to learn about where their food comes from, all while supporting Wisconsin farms.
The Big Drive is similar to the concept of “Giving Tuesday” after Thanksgiving, where people are encouraged to donate online during a 24 hour period. This year, REAP hopes to surpass the fundraiser’s first year of success for their Farm-to-School Program. Working directly with the Madison Metropolitan School District, the Farm-to-School Program supports nutrition education programming and aims to bring sustainable food into the schools. One of their most popular programs, Chef in the Classroom, brings Madison chefs into middle and high schools to teach cooking skills.
The fundraiser will simulate a day in the life of a Madison elementary school student, following a student’s typical routine. The idea will focus on food choices and the availability of special “Garden Bars” in the lunch line. A fresh fruit and veggie snack will also be provided by REAP.
REAP’s work has a positive impact in low-income neighborhoods in the Madison community, providing children with opportunities to learn what a healthy lifestyle looks like, as well as supporting the Wisconsin farming economy. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to donate on March 1, and students and community members looking for other ways to get involved are encouraged to volunteer.