MPA is proud to share our connection to a new Madison food security coalition, Food4Success. Dr. Lea Aschkenase, PhD, a psychologist at MPA, is the founder of Food for Thought Initiative, one of the three organizations now under the Food4Success umbrella.
“We joined this coalition because it aligned with our belief that students should be hungry to learn, not hungry,” said Lea of the Food for Thought Initiative. “Research unequivocally demonstrates hunger impairs health, learning, behavior, and the ability to attend and focus. By working together, we can simultaneously sustain and expand our school-based nutritional support.”
The mission of the Food for Thought Initiative – otherwise known as Food4TI – is to improve food access and alleviate hunger among Madison public school students and their families. Food4TI also operates Thea’s Table weekend food program, which provides six weekend meals to homeless and high-risk students and their families.
Food4TI also operates pantries in Sandburg Elementary, Mendota Elementary, Cherokee Heights Middle, and East High School. A pantry at Hawthorne Elementary is scheduled to open in September.
The Food4Success coalition is partnering with the Madison Metropolitan School District to finance and operate existing in-school pantries and weekend food programs, as well as to increase the number of in-school pantries and weekend food programs. The goal is to serve more students in an efficient and sustainable way.