MOBILIZE

EDUCATE

resources that meet community needs

families about leaving a legacy

SUPPORT

INVEST

organizations and causes that improve lives

in the future of Polk and Burnett counties

For a list of local nonprofit organizations working in Polk and Burnett counties, click here.

Cooked 2 Serve

Community donations buy food for distribution to local families in need: Cooked 2 Serve is the link.

We provide frozen, ready-to-heat meals to families in Polk County. The objectives of C2S are to provide nutrient dense meals to families AND support local restaurants and farmers. Food items, soups and pan dinners, purchased from local restaurant sources are precooked, frozen, and ready to heat up at home.

C2S began in 2020 during the pandemic to obtain supplemental meals AND to support the owners and staff of restaurants in the downturn caused by pandemic restrictions. These meals were delivered to the Frederic School to augment their aid to families within the district. These meals continue to be delivered every other week to local schools for distribution. As Cooked2Serve grows, meals are also now delivered to Community Referral Agency, a domestic abuse shelter based in Milltown.

Partnering continues with the Farm Table Foundation in Amery, Natural Alternative Food Coop and Cafe Wren in Luck.  These suppliers source many of the ingredients for C2S meals from local farmers and growers. The Farm Table, our primary supplier’s mission is to grow local food culture through education, research, and training.

Cooked2Serve is a component program at Northwest Alliance Community Foundation which, in turn, is an affiliate of St Croix Valley Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Donor support and volunteer help fuel Cooked2Serve. 100% of your donation buys food. Click here to Donate Online  or mail a check to NACF–Cooked2Serve, PO Box 111, Frederic, WI 54837

Donations can also be made to Farm Table Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit. Visit the Farm Table website  OR visit the Farm Table restaurant in Amery–you can donate right from the menu.

For updates: facebook.com/Cooked2Serve

A Housing Challenge

https://nacommunityfoundation.org/news-events/By Gary Gerds

A Housing Challenge
The results of a 2020 NACF board study identified the lack of sufficient housing alternatives for middle income and senior citizens as a real challenge in the Polk and Burnett county area. This is a particular issue for businesses wishing to attract employees to our part of the state.  More conversations are being planned as we research ways to address this within our counties.

As a matter of fact, NACF is not the only organization to identify this challenge. The St Croix Valley Foundation (SCVF), of which NACF is an affiliate, launched its second wave of grantmaking through the COVID-19 Response Fund for the St. Croix Valley focused on housing, utilities, and transportation. In Fall 2020, fund granted approximately $600,000 to nonprofits addressing these issues.
For the full article, visit: nacommunityfoundation.org/news-events

Graduation Day

By Chris Byerly

NACF NOTES Column, Intercounty Leader, May 26, 2021

Did you know May is Foster Care Awareness Month?  May is traditionally associated with graduations, parties, and well-meant, but usually unsolicited advice on further education and career choices.  Most graduates are supported by family as they take the next steps in their lives - however, many teens in foster care programs experience more challenging circumstances.  It is reported that roughly 20,000 youth between ages 18-21 annually age out of foster care without a nurturing family, leaving them to make their own way.  Noting the need for interaction with teens aging out of foster care, the Northwest Alliance Community Foundation awarded a grant to the Workforce Resource Independent Living program, led by Coordinator/Program Manager Crystal Meier, to help expand its mentorship component for foster youth in Burnett and Polk Counties.

The Independent Living Program assists foster and former foster youth ages 14-23 with services to help them become self-sufficient.  The original plan was to develop in-person programs focusing on healthy relationships and connections through the Youth Advisory Council.  The pandemic, however, forced remote engagement through virtual meetings and classrooms.  NACF grant funds helped host a variety of online programs including a life skills course that provided cooking classes, taught Rent Smart certification, and connected youth to post-secondary options.  Additionally, youth developed Foster Club binders that listed the vital documentation needed when transitioning out of care - everything including birth certificates, educational records, medical records and acquired certifications, as well as other essential resources to ensure self-sufficiency and success as they move forward in their lives.

“We worked to create a community of youth who felt connected to each other during the isolation of the pandemic and also felt confident in the hopes and dreams for their future,” stated Meier.  “We are currently developing a mentorship program using new technologies that allow breakout rooms so youth can work with adults on specific goals each week.  Anyone who is interested in learning more about becoming a mentor is encouraged to contact me.”  Meier can be reached through Workforce Resource at 877-711-9390 ext. 2710.

Chris Byerly is a member of the Northwest Alliance Community Foundation, which is an affiliate of the St. Croix Valley Foundation. For more information, visit www.nacommunityfoundation.org.By Chris Byerly