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Willy Street Co-op supports FEED with grill benefit funds | Arts & Culture

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Willy Street Co-op supports FEED with grill benefit funds
Willy Street Co-op supports FEED with grill benefit funds

Willy Street Co-op turned up the grills on June 15 and June 22 in a benefit event for FEED Kitchens.

The cookouts, which took place at the east and then west Willy Street locations, were part of the Grilling for Good events that the Co-op hosts from May through September to benefit local organizations and projects.

On June 15, Willy Street Co-op East served about 125 attendees, according to Willy Street Co-op Event Coordinator Jack Kear. The June 22 event had a strong turnout at at Willy Street Co-op West despite a morning rain storm.

The Co-op will know the exact amount of proceeds that will benefit FEED Kitchens in a few weeks, according to Northside Planning Council Board of Directors member Terrie Anderson. She said that the Co-op recently donated $30,000 to FEED Kitchens and has been very supportive of the project.

FEED Kitchens is a food business incubator that will make commercial kitchen space available for rent to food entrepreneurs and businesses. Each kitchen includes specialized equipment for the kitchen’s intended purpose like baking or processing. 

Kear said the FEED Kitchens' food goals are similar to the Co-op's, which made it an easy choice as this month's charity beneficiary.

“They have been a group that is very much in line with our own mission, why would we not want to support that?” Kear added.

In addition to raising funds for FEED Kitchens, Willy Street Co-op will be supporting the 100-plus people on the waiting list to use one of FEED Kitchens five commercial kitchens, now scheduled to open sometime in October, Anderson said.

Originally scheduled to open in September, FEED Kitchens experienced construction delays due to a dry cleaner that contaminated the soil on site. The dry cleaner is no longer in the area, but the contamination turned out to be more extensive than originally thought.

The delay will ultimately set the project back one month so far, Anderson added.

FEED Kitchens will not be the only beneficiary of this summer’s Grilling for Good events. Willy Street Co-op plans to support the Workers’ Rights Center of Madison in the August event.

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