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Alliant Energy and BPNN come together to nourish neighbors

Badger Prairie Needs Network (BPNN) is one of the four largest food banks in Dane County, Wisconsin. During the pandemic, all four made a pact to work together to stop hunger. As part of the agreement, BPNN expanded its services from school districts in Verona, Fitchburg and parts of Madison to include all Dane county residents. When hunger remained an issue even after pandemic restrictions were lifted, BPNN decided to continue serving all of Dane County.

Alliant Energy stepped in with a donation to fill the gap between existing and needed supplies. The donation also included significant funding for equipment for their building expansion.

“With the growing need for food across the state, paired with increasing costs, Alliant Energy understands the importance of supporting Badger Prairie Needs Network’s efforts to fight hunger,” said Julie Bauer, Executive Director, Alliant Energy Foundation. “Their vision to end hunger in Dane County aligns with our company purpose to serve our customers and build stronger communities.”

“Alliant Energy is one of those great companies that lives its values,” said Bob Kasieta, BPNN board president. “Their recent generous grant to Badger Prairie Needs Network for our holiday meal and capital building project is just the most recent example of their civic mindedness.”

The phase-out of pandemic-era benefits and the high cost of living in Dane County has resulted in a 600% increase in demand for food. A space shortage has challenged BPNN’s ability to respond as it would like.

During the pandemic, BPNN added refrigerator and freezer capacity, but still lacks adequate produce and warehouse space. Prior to the pandemic, one volunteer could sort and package produce at a table designed to accommodate one person; now three volunteers typically share that same workspace.

The current warehouse was constructed to accommodate the distribution of approximately 500,000 pounds of food per year. Last year, BPNN distributed 2.1 million pounds. A larger warehouse will offer the organization opportunities to increase quantities and varieties of popular nutritious items and purchase them at bigger discounts.

BPNN’s new warehouse addition is currently in the planning and fundraising stage, with construction scheduled to begin in 2025.

BPNN is 100% grassroots, meaning everyone from food servers to operational directors are volunteers. All donations, whether monetary or in-kind, go to feed and provide social services to those in need.

“For more than a decade, Alliant Energy has demonstrated its commitment to the community by supporting BPNN and so many other great causes,” said Bob Kasieta, BPNN board president. “Alliant Energy makes our community better every day with its devotion to the people who live here. We couldn’t serve those in poverty without the support of Alliant Energy.”

The Alliant Energy Foundation is committed to fighting hunger and homelessness and welcomes the opportunity to stand with its long-time partner, Badger Prairie Needs Network, as it works to fulfill its mission of ending hunger in Dane County.

“Alliant Energy makes our community better every day with its devotion to the people who live here."
Bob Kasieta, BPNN board president

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