Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 12:57pm
MPD and Bayview Foundation partnership yields positive results for Brittingham Park
For the past six months, something that seemed only a dream for the Triangle Neighborhood and Brittingham Park has slowly taken shape: a farmers market within walking distance that not only sells locally grown produce but it also teaches people how to use that produce.
The event culminates a project that began with an idea from residents that lead to the cooperation between the neighborhood’s police officer and the program coordinator at the Bayview Foundation writing and submitting a grant to the Madison Food Policy Council. Fast forward five months to now, when the neighborhoord awaits the kickoff of a positive, healthful event that uses a park in the way it was intended.
“I knew when the Monona Bay Neighborhood Association unanimously supported this market, we had something special,” said Ofc. Kim Alan who co-wrote the grant with Julie Shadpa of the Bayview Foundation. “Since then, residents, donors, chefs… there’s been an overwhelming support for this project. The staff at the Bayview Foundation has been incredible; they are this project’s rock.”
Getting such a large project off the ground in under six months wouldn’t have been possible without that grant from Madison’s Food Policy Council under their new SEED grant program that began this spring.
“This is exactly the type of project we were hoping for when the Food Policy Council started the SEED grant process,” said Mark Woulf of the Food Policy Council. “Small projects that have a big impact.”
The market received a USDA permit to accept SNAP food benefits on May 7th and also hopes to participate in the MadMarket Double Dollar incentive program further helping the market accomplish its mission to serve the residents most in need of fresh produce.
“Food security may not seem like a police issue,” said Alan. “But to the people who are hungry and feeling out of control as their benefits are cut, it certainly falls under the role of a guardian to break down the barriers preventing residents from having more and better options when purchasing their food.”
Adding another unique dimension, the Brittingham Park Farmers Market will also be the first market to be held in a Madison Park necessitating a large pool of supportive vendors, chefs and city departments in order to permit the event.
“No one is braver than the chefs and vendors who have stepped forward and committed themselves to this unknown quantity of a market,” said Alan. “Sgt. Jen Kane, as a former chef, has been invaluable in helping communicate the mission of this market”
UW Slow Food’s Clara Dockter will kick off the market on June 3rd demonstrating how to prepare grilled asparagus paired with pasta noodles and a garlic-lemon sauce. Other chefs that have committed to demonstrate the preparation of seasonal produce at the market include: Jeanne Benink of Simply Served preparing kale/collards on July 1st, Bryan Stefanko of 8 Seasons Grille preparing Raspberries on July 22nd, Chief Mike Koval and friends of the Madison Police Department preparing Beets on Sept. 2nd and Madison Area Technical College Culinary students preparing plums on Sept. 23rd.
Other supporters that have stepped forward in the community to support the market include: Meriter Hospital, Metcalfe’s Market, UW Provisions and the Madison Parks Department
By giving officers the latitude to pursue larger, involving projects such as the farmers market, Chief Mike Koval and his predecessors allow officers to take cues from their neighborhoods on how to address community problems.
“In keeping with our mission of building partnerships and getting closer to the people we serve, I am delighted to see that Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) Kimberly Alan is collaborating with constituents from her Bayview/Braxton beat to participate in a new farmer’s market,” said Koval.
The market still has openings for both chef and vendor slots.
Those interested are encouraged to contact Ofc. Alan at 608-577-5726.
Market opens June 3rd at 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. It recurs each Tuesday thereafter until the final Tuesday, Sept. 23rd. The market is located at one of the city’s largest downtown parks, Brittingham Park
- Officer Kim Alan, 577-5726
- Joel DeSpain, 266-4897