Since 2008, Slow Food-UW has encouraged students to trek down South Park Street to meet local farmers, interact with community members, and visit the restaurants and businesses along the way. This campus-community partnership promotes a “two-way street” of learning between UW-Madison and South Madison.
This branch began at the South Madison Farmers’ Market when we asked market manager Robert Pierce, “What can Slow Food-UW do to help you?” Robert immediately asked us to engage with youth and teach them how to cook. From there, we sought to aid preexisting organizations and community-led efforts in promoting “good, clean, and fair” food through cooking, gardening, and other food-based programming. We have expanded our reach over the years and now work with the Boys and Girls Club, Odyssey Program, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, and Goodman Library.
Our South Madison programs aim to empower individuals and communities to reclaim their relationship with food. We emphasize that food is a right for all, and work to address barriers to food that includes and surpasses access. Some of these barriers may involve knowledge of healthy foods, cooking skills, or comfort with novel foods. Each of our programs actively work to promote a local food system that is both inclusive and just.
If you’re interested in learning more about the urban agricultural initiatives in the diverse communities just south of campus, join our efforts and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Badger Rock Garden Class
The Badger Rock garden class is one of many progressive environmental based programs being run at Badger Rock Middle School this year. Sarah Karlson among others run a garden in the backyard of the school located in south Madison, and grow about everything you can think of. They take advantage of this by hosting community classes and markets, as well as classes on cooking and gardening for the kids using materials from their school garden. Slow Food interns have the opportunity to aid the teaching staff in helping out with the garden class by showing the kids proper cooking methods, teaching students how to run and benefit from a garden, and making connections with students.
Snacks on the Move
Get Movin’ is a fitness class geared towards elders as a part of an Alzheimer’s prevention program within the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Each week, interns prepare a healthy snack, educate participants on its nutritional benefits, and participate in the exercise class alongside members. Get Movin’ meets at the UW South Madison Partnership Office and on Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday.
Snacks with Scientists
The Snacks with Scientists team coordinates activities for groups of kids at local community centers. The WID (Wisconsin Institute for Discovery) connects Slow Food interns with the community centers and groups of kids. The activities are science-related, but also very fun and typically related to food or ingredients that can be found in the kitchen. Interns also provide the kids with a healthy snack to refuel after the experiment. We hope to get kids excited about science and food and encourage them to be more curious in all aspects of life (but especially in the kitchen).
South Madison Program Co-Directors
Julia Grande and Jenna Rethman