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For many neighborhoods, accessing fresh food remains a challenge

For many neighborhoods, accessing fresh food remains a challenge

Food deserts abound in Madison, especially on north, south sides  

It's a struggle to find fresh and healthy food some areas in Madison, despite many big box grocery stores and 16 seasonal farmers' markets.

The closing of Walgreens on Verona Road at the end of 2014 has exposed the instability of south Madison's Allied Dunn's Marsh neighborhood. Though the neighborhood is biking distance from the Capitol, the amount of resources present in its immediate area are severely lacking.

Madison's winter clothes drive happening this month

Madison Parks is partnering with Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. on an outdoor winter clothes drive Jan. 5-16.

Winter coats, snowpants, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves may be dropped off during operating hours at the following locations:

  • Tenney Park Shelter, 402 N. Thornton Ave.
  • Vilas Park Shelter, 1400 Vilas Park Dr.
  • Elver Park Shelter, 1250 McKenna Blvd.
  • Odana Hills Golf Course, 4635 Odana Road

Operating Hours:

Shelter hours are weekdays 3-9 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m.-9 p.m.Odana Hills hours are weekends 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Habitat for Humanity asking for volunteers

Habitat for Humanity is seeking families to build homes in Madison, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, and Stoughton.

Over the last year, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has purchased 29 family unit lots in Sun Prairie, 24 lots in Fitchburg and eight lots in Madison.

For individuals and families interested in building with Habitat for Humanity, informational meetings will be held:

Jan. 11, 1-2:30 p.m., Clarion Suites, 2110 Rimrock Road

Jan. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., Clarion Suites, 2110 Rimrock Road

If interested in partnering with Habitat, attendance at one of these meetings is mandatory.

To learn about the program requirements, visit habitatdane.org.

Annual chili cookoff seeks chefs

On Feb. 7 from 6-8 p.m., the Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., will host its second annual Mad City Chili Cookoff.

As many as 20 cooks may enter for the chance to win cash prizes. Organizers said smell, taste, heat balance, texture/mouthfeel and appearance are among this year's judging criteria.

Up to $200 will be awarded to both the judge's top pick and to the people's choice award.

A chili recipe and $20 are needed to enter the competition.

If you would like to enter the contest, email chili.essenhaus@gmail.com.

Entry fee to the event is $10 for adults and free for children ages 10 and under.

Click here for complete details.

Bus service reduced for Christmas Eve, Day

Bus service reduced for Christmas Eve, Day

Madison Metro will have reduced service hours next week due to the holidays.

The city of Madison posted a reminder Thursday that the buses will follow regular weekday schedules on Wednesday, Christmas Eve, but service will end early with the last trips of the day between 5 and 6:30 p.m. 

Buses will follow the holiday schedule Christmas Day, Thursday. 

For online guides, visit www.cityofmadison.com/metro/schedules/Holidays/index.cfm

More information is also available through the Metro customer service center at 608-266-4466.

No refuse or recycling collection on Christmas, News Year's

No refuse or recycling collection on Christmas, News Year's

According to the city of Madison, there will be no refuse or recycling on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1 because of the Christmas and New Year's holidays. If your material is normally collected on Thursday, it will be collected on Friday, Dec. 26 and Friday, Jan. 2.

Residents should be sure to get material out to the curb by 7 a.m., as Street Division crews will be collecting in both the Thursday and Friday refuse districts on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.

Because of the double collection, large item collection will be reduced. Residents are asked to hold large items until after the holidays if possible.

The Streets Division's offices and drop-off sites will also be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. They will conduct regular refuse and recycling collection on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Their offices will also be open on those dates.

For additional information, visit the Streets Division's web page.

Goodman Community Center able to meet Thanksgiving goal

Goodman Community Center able to meet Thanksgiving goal

After concerns over being able to provide a Thanksgiving meal for 3,000 area families in need, the Goodman Community Center's executive director is happy to credit the community for helping them meet their goal.

"Today is great news," Becky Steinhoff said. "We provided to all 3,000 families who were on our list."

Even late last week, the Goodman Community Center's Fritz Food Pantry only had 2,100 turkeys. Thanks to the generosity of neighbors, more than 1,000 turkeys were donated over the last few days.

"It's probably 15,000-20,000 people who'll eat this Thanksgiving thanks to the generosity of our community. That's a lot of people," Steinhoff said.

With more than 100 extra turkeys, the Fritz Food Pantry has been able to also provide anyone who called-in or walked-in part of their meal.