|Basic Needs grants aim to help people overcome challenges, become self-sufficient - June 16 2011
OSHKOSH, WI - A new program could fill the gap in Oshkosh on the dinner table and in the workforce.
Bread for Tomorrow is a venture proposed to provide work opportunities for people recovering from addictions through a revenue-producing bakery operation that specializes in artisan breads and specialty items.
The proposal is one of 11 Oshkosh and Green Lake-area projects or programs awarded a total of $248,000 in grants funded by the U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership and distributed by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. The grants are being awarded this month.
Bread for Tomorrow will be a collaboration of the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry, Step Industries in Neenah, Mooring Programs/Casa Clare in Appleton, and possibly other partners. The venture's goal is two-fold: to help meet growing demands of community pantry resources and help people recovering from addictions to lift themselves out of poverty, a challenge burdened by the stigma of addiction, a negative work record and lack of self-confidence.
Steve Vickman, executive director of the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry, explains that the idea was born during discussions in a Social Entrepreneurship Leadership Class offered by the J J Keller Foundation.
"The issue was how do we not just manage social problems, but how do we effectively solve them, and create change," Vickman said. "(Step Industries) has a ready workforce that needs employment opportunities and I had this idea that we could create a bakery that could generate profit for our facility, and anything we couldn't sell, we could use in the pantry."
The Basic Needs Giving Partnership planning grant will help the project's collaborators develop a business plan and secure a site for operations. A June 1, 2012, start-up is targeted with distribution through local convenience and grocery stores, and possibly a bakery shop.
The U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs was established at the Community Foundation in 2008 and has since granted $463,000 to charities in Winnebago and Green Lake counties, and Winneconne. The Basic Needs Giving Partnership receives funding from the U.S. Venture Open, J J Keller Foundation and individual donors. The U.S. Venture Open raised $2.2 million in 2010 for the communities served by community foundations in Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh. Since 1986, thousands of funders, event participants and volunteers have helped to raise $12.6 million for hundreds of charitable organizations throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The 2011 U.S. Venture Open will be held at five Northeast Wisconsin golf courses Aug. 9-10.
Grant recipients include:
U.S. Venture Basic Needs Giving Partnership planning grants
U.S. Venture Basic Needs Giving Partnership annual and collaborative grants
Career Kickstart to 60 at-risk high school students. Career Kickstart will include opportunities to learn and practice personal leadership skills, personal financial skills, career development activities and earn up to two college credits. Up to 12 students also will complete Certified Nursing Assistant training during the program, offering immediate employability and a pathway to other health care training programs.
U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership grant for Winneconne
U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership grants for Green Lake County
The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.
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