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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
  • Oshkosh Area Community Pantry: $10,000
    • Bread for Tomorrow, a collaborative project involving the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry, Step Industries in Neenah and Mooring Programs/Casa Clare in Appleton, aims to provide needed work experience for people recovering from addictions through a revenue-producing bakery operation.

  • ADVOCAP Inc.: $10,000
    • Barriers to Self-Sufficiency is a collaborative project involving ADVOCAP and Head Start to help connect people with services to build self-sufficiency. The project will focus on simplification, education and coordination of information and referral services to respond better to the needs of low income individuals and families.

    U.S. Venture Basic Needs Giving Partnership annual and collaborative grants
  • Tri-County Community Dental Clinic: $25,000
    • The Focus on the Children program will provide oral health screening and education as well as preventative and restorative treatments to children in Winnebago County.

  • Winnebago County Literacy Council: $10,000
    • The Winnebago County Literacy Council's community learning programs provide one-on-one tutoring for adults and families in Winnebago County.

  • Fox Valley Technical College: $68,000 over 3 years
    • In collaboration with the Oshkosh Area School District, FVTC's Riverside Campus will offer
      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.

  • Clarity Care, Inc.: $20,000
    • The Help at Home program aids elderly and disabled people who do not qualify for government assistance, yet do not have the means to pay privately for home care services, allowing them to access services at an affordable rate. This allows many residents to remain living independently in their homes and the community.

  • Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services: $10,000
    • The emergency shelter and advocacy services provide immediate safety to victims in addition to meeting basic needs and providing emotional support. An array of supportive services such as individual and support group advocacy, legal advocacy, children and teen services, education and job training and transitional living programs and referrals to community resources are offered.

  • CAP Services Inc.: $55,000 over 3 years
    • The Waushara County Skills Enhancement Program aims to help working poor individuals complete education or training that will lead to the ability to compete for living wage jobs with benefits. The program includes intensive case management and financial assistance for books, tuition and fees, as well as child care and transportation aid.

    U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership grant for Winneconne
  • Tri-County Community Dental Clinic: $10,000
    • The Focus on the Children program will provide oral health screening and education as well as preventative and restorative treatments to children in Winneconne public schools.

    U.S. Venture Basic Needs Partnership grants for Green Lake County
  • Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services: $10,000
    • The Green Lake County Rural Outreach program provides services that focus on the special needs of rural victims of abuse, including emergency shelter, safety planning, legal advocacy, services for children and teen victims, support groups, access to the 24-Hour Helpline and community resource referrals. The agency maintains an outreach office in the county, located in Green Lake, which is staffed by a full time coordinator.

  • Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County Area: $20,000
    • The Kids Safe Scholarships for Club Kids program each year serves hundreds of children by providing with assistance with membership and child care fees. In addition, the club will provide medical, dental and vision checks for eligible children, as well as clothing and shoes, especially in summer when gym shoes and shorts are needed and fall when winter boots and gloves are needed.


    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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