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Engaging in Conversation: Documenting how 1 Meal Program is Serving More Than Food

Cross Lutheran is a church in Milwaukee’s central city, and its Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry (BOHEM) offers a meal program and food pantry, serving Milwaukee residents who experience poverty and hunger. Funders were interested in BOHEM’s measurable outcomes and the program’s impact. Program staff and volunteers worked to co-create an interview tool that could be administered by trained volunteers from other congregations who serve food at the meal program and pantry. “Guests” of the pantry participated in the interviews and talked about changes in their lives because of their involvement in BOHEM programming and services. As a result of the survey, BOHEM found ways to improve their communication about available services, volunteers from other congregations began to think more critically about what partnership and collaboration mean, and guests noted the importance of the resources being more than a source for food, but also an opportunity to give back or pay it forward. For all involved, it provided the opportunity to have a deeper conversation about racism, poverty and privilege.

Slide 12- Hunger Equity presentation
A summary of this work was recently presented at the Hunger Summit, hosted by Feeding Wisconsin, in May 2016 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. If you’d like more information or a copy of the presentation, please contact Salma Abadin.

Events of Interest

Neighborhood Data: What’s Happening in Other Cities?*
Wednesday, June 15th, 10:00, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Highlights from the most recent National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership meeting in San Antonio. Find out what ‘s happening in partner cities that are concerned about using data to improve neighborhoods. Katie Pritchard, from Data You Can Use, will provide a summary of resources and possibilities that may be of interest to you and your neighborhood work.  This will be provided for staff from Healthy Neighborhoods and may be open to others with interest.

For more information, contact Darlene Russell at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.


 Who’s in your neighborhood? – Using the American FactFinder*
Zilber School of Public Health on Thursday June 16th from 9:00—11:30.

Gain experience in using the US Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data access tool. Learn about what data are available, how to access the data sets, and how to use the data to inform decisions in your neighborhood. The training will be led by Salma Abadin and Carrie Koss Vallejo of Data You Can Use in partnership with the Nonprofit Center. Participants are welcome to bring their laptops or use the computers in the facility. This will be “hands on” training primarily for CDBG agencies.

For more information, contact Joyce Mallory at the Nonprofit Center.


 Map for Free?  A look at Open Source Mapping*
Thursday July 14th from 9:00—11:00 at the Zilber School for Public Health

This open source mapping training is an opportunity to learn best practices which can be applied across tools, with an opportunity to apply them using MapBox Studio.  The training will be led by Carrie Koss Vallejo and Salma Abadin of Data You Can Use in partnership with the Nonprofit Center.  By the end of the session, attendees will have created a resource map* in Milwaukee! Participants are welcome to bring their laptops or use the computers in the facility. This will be “hands on” training primarily for CDBG agencies.

For more information, contact Joyce Mallory at the Nonprofit Center.


Theory of Change?  What’s that and why do I need one?
Wednesday July 27, 9:00–11:00 at the Nonprofit Center.

Have you been asked by a funder “But what’s your theory of change?”  What do they mean by this and why do they need to know? Find out why a developing your theory of change can be just what you need to improve planning, evaluation, and community engagement around your social change work. Presented by Katie Pritchard, Data You Can Use, in partnership with the Nonprofit Center.

For more information, contact Susanne Vella

* The first three trainings are primarily for staff of CDBG agencies, and open to others as space permits.

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