Slow Food UW Supporting South Madison

Abstract: There is a strong food culture in South Madison. More than just a meal, the local community considers food a key factor in engaging community members. A few local groups have initiated a variety of food-related programs. The human resources involved, however, have been an ongoing issue. The Slow Food UW has been bringing student members/interns to South Madison to provide support on what they do best, food.

Student Learning Goals:

  • learn how to engage community with food as a leverage factor
  • help increase awareness about local and fresh food
  • learn about food justice and how it affects community

Deliverable Products or Services:

The following were activities organized during 2011-2012 academic year:

  • served meals and snacks during Science Nights events at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery;
  • offered a one-credit South Madison Food Justice Action Collective class for project participants in the fall and spring semesters;
  • served the Family Voices participants locally-sourced brunches, organized Teen Cooking Nights, and established two gardens with the Boys and Girls Club;
  • provided teaching assistance for Badger Rock Middle School.

CUE Project AreaSouth Madison
CUE AffiliateMargaret Nellis, Slow Food UW
CUE Community Partners: Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Badger Rock Middle School, Family Voices Project, Science Nights WIDMIR


Family Voices Project

Overview: Starting in fall 2010, the Family Voices (FV) began a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County (BGCDC). The BGCDC/FV partnership is strengthening the program’s foundation and its ability to continue developing and implementing a culturally relevant model, offering a Saturday morning mentor-tutor-enrichment program for students in grades K-8 with strong parent engagement and with a focus on African American families and mentor-tutors. The overlap between Family Voices and CUE was what brought CUE in to assist FV increases its capacity to serve its targeted population, since CUE was already working with Slow Food-UW at the BGCDC, and they had capacity to cook for/with more children. CUE began assisting with this partnership in the Fall of 2011.

Objectives: While many ideas for community improvement were identified, the families in South Madison felt supporting the academic performance of the community’s children through the use of tutors would be a powerful place to begin.

Project Activities:

  • CUE supports Family Voices with program administration and development, documentation and implementation support.

Project Course:

  • CUE staff developed curriculum and taught a pilot professional development course for the UW undergraduates serving as FV mentor-tutors volunteers. This for-credit course was conducted at the BGCDC on alternating Saturdays during the spring 2012 semester. [project course page]

Additional Information: