BPNN Alliant Energy Grant

Steve Genovese, of Madison, places a shrink-wrapped package of meat during a food rescue on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, at Badger Prairie Needs Network.

Badger Prairie Needs Network is one of 23 Dane County nonprofits that received an Alliant Energy Foundation community grant earlier this month.

Totalling $7,000, the grant was given to BPNN for its food pantry and Kitchen to Table food recovery program, according to a news release from the Alliant Energy Foundation.

Marcia Kasieta, BPNN executive director, said the grant will help to cover energy costs associated with running the walk-in coolers, purchasing packaging and outreach efforts to identify more partners for the Kitchen to Table program.

The Kitchen to Table program, which was launched in December 2018, has volunteers visiting local businesses like Epic and UW Hospitals and Clinics, where they “rescue” prepared foods that went unserved. That food is brought back to BPNN, where it’s repackaged and distributed out to other food agencies that cover more than a dozen counties in southern Wisconsin.

Since the program’s inception, BPNN has repackaged 66,000 pounds of food, equalling 55,000 meals, Kasieta said.

“We appreciate the generous support provided by the Alliant Energy Foundation,” she wrote in an email to the Press. “Kitchen to Table is a good fit with Alliant’s funding goal in that our success will feed many, many people – and also save the planet by reducing food waste and greenhouse gases.”

The Alliant Energy Foundation gave out $123,000 in community grants this year.

“We’re looking for creative solutions that support our customers and communities,” Julie Bauer, executive director of the Alliant Energy Foundation, said in the release. “Our nonprofit partners are constantly working to make life better. Community Grants are one way we stand behind them as they solve problems for families, education and the environment.”

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at kimberly.wethal@wcinet.com and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.