The Senior Fresh Produce Initiative is a team effort of Wisconsin retailer Skogen’s Festival Foods and fresh food wholesaler Potato King to provide monthly deliveries of seasonal, fresh produce to income-eligible Racine County residents ages 60 and older who participate in the Racine County Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)/Cupboard Bound. The program is administered by the Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc. (RKCAA). The monthly food delivery, worth about $35 before the produce donation is added, is available at no cost to eligible individuals. The foods are intended to supplement the participants’ diets with nutritious, non-perishable foods. Participants must live in Racine or Kenosha counties, be 60 years or older, and be income eligible. Staff from RKCAA coordinate program details and execution, while Festival Foods and Potato King partner to ensure each participant receives fresh, nutrient-enriched products to enjoy alongside the shelf-stable products they receive.
While pre-packaged foods are a vital source of nutrition, Festival Foods wanted to provide CSFP participants with fresh items, too. By partnering with its valued partner Potato King, Festival Foods adds fresh items to the seniors’ monthly shipment. It’s a welcome (and colorful!) addition to the monthly food shipments. The Senior Fresh Produce Initiative currently serves 250 area seniors through the RKCAA’s Cupboard Bound Program. Festival Foods' team members deliver produce to the agency's office every month, specifically the Wednesday prior to the Friday monthly distribution date. RKCAA staff ensure the food is packaged and ready to be delivered to seniors along with other items on the monthly allocation list. The Senior Fresh Produce Initiative is one way Festival Foods demonstrates its commitment to serving the community through building relationships with guests and area organizations that help so many.
Fresh produce from Festival Foods adds another facet of food supply to the Racine County Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)/Cupboard Bound's senior food program, which previously provided only non-perishables, such as canned foods, cheese, peanut butter, cereal and pasta. Each month, Festival Foods and Potato King select two items that are donated to each participant as the fresh item add-on to the program. These items vary each month in an effort to provide a variation of tastes and uses for participants. Examples include carrots, potatoes, oranges, strawberries, grapes, peppers and more. Festival Foods leaders select the items, place the order, and arrange pickup with the team at RKCAA so they can be ready for the monthly distribution for participants.
The Senior Fresh Produce Initiative began in 2016 with 200 participants in Racine. Today, it's grown to serve 250. In 2021, the retail value of the donation was over $31,000.
"We thank Potato King for partnering with us to provide area seniors with fresh produce in addition to the other foods they receive every month from this very valuable program. Festival Foods is honored to be able to give back to its communities through this program as well as through event sponsorships and charitable giving to a variety of programs and organizations across the state.”
- Mark Skogen, Festival Foods President and CEO
“Monthly donations of fresh produce from Festival Foods and Potato King supplement the box of nutritious foods distributed by RKCAA’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). These donations fill the void (lack of fresh produce) that exist within the current CSFP program, potentially improving food and nutrition-related outcomes for Racine county seniors. As a result of the partnership with Festival Foods and Potato King, Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc. is able to provide for seniors in a manner that no other local agency does on a continuous basis.” -Zeke Leo, Community Services Manager, Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc.