Healthy, Fresh Food For All

Team Members: Cynthia Brown, Deanna Byrnes, Heather Kraeuter
Project Sponsor: Kenosha County UW-Extension

After visiting the Daniels Dairy Farm, Brightonwoods Orchards and Appeltrew Winery, and speaking with the Kenosha/Racine UW-Extension Community Agriculture Educator, this team decided to create its own project with the goal of increasing access to fresh, locally-grown food at farmers markets. The team conducted community research to better understand the farmers markets in Kenosha and the local food system. They also researched the process for obtaining and using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machine at farmer’s markets, which would allow individuals to use their food benefits at the market. After running into several road blocks, the team connected with Harborside Academy’s garden project, Five Acres and No Mule, which is also working to increase access to healthy food. Combining their efforts, the LK Team solicited donations to create sustainable vegetable gardens at Kenosha area schools and to make an EBT machine available at the farmers markets.

This project won the Leadership Kenosha “Project of the Year” award.

ElCA Urban Outreach Center Project

Team Members: Roxanne Canovi, Chris Johnson, Jesse Noyola, Nomi Webb
Project Sponsor: ELCA Urban Outreach Center

The ELCA Urban Outreach Center provides basic necessities free of charge, including a clothing closet, personal care program, referrals to Kenosha County agencies, job search assistance, and adult education (GED classes in English and Spanish). The Leadership Kenosha team worked to raise public awareness of the Center. This included: highlighting the ELCA Urban Outreach Center on the Kenosha public access channel, sending emails to the eight ELCA churches that support the center, and an article in the Kenosha News about the team’s fundraising activities.

The team also organized, promoted, and implemented a fundraiser at Siebert’s pub in Salem. Outcomes from this event included a 50/50 raffle (raising $162), a cash donation of $30, and approximately ten bags of personal care items including shampoo, feminine hygiene, baby food, socks, and clothes. Siebert’s provided a donation of 10 percent of their intake on the afternoon of the event. For longer-term outcomes, one member of the team has placed a box for donations in the O’Hare flight crew lounge for travel-size personal care items for the shower facility at the Center, and they are working on linking the Center’s website with Facebook and Twitter.

Improving Community Emergence Preparedness

Team Members: Joan Fergus, Jerry Fugiasco, Anne Whynott
Project Sponsor: Kenosha County Division of Emergency Management

The need for emergency preparedness for all hazards is very real and will not only benefit the citizens of Kenosha County when a disaster strikes, but it will be a huge benefit in assisting first responders in their response to a disaster situation. The Leadership Kenosha team worked with Kenosha County Division of Emergency Management to identify and develop a means to encourage emergency preparedness throughout Kenosha County and show the public that it isn’t difficult to prepare, that any preparedness they do is better than no preparedness at all.

With assistance from the County Information Services Department, Kenosha County UW-Extension, and Gateway Technical College, the LK team redesigned the website for Emergency Management so that it is more informative and functional, and they developed and printed brochures for the Division to distribute at community events.

Marketing Western Kenosha County Transit

Team Members: Susan Hawkins-Wilding, Tracy Musgrove, Emma Rodriguez
Project Sponsor: Kenosha County Division of Aging & Disabilities

Since 2007, Western Kenosha County Transit (WKCT) has offered public transportation services to towns and villages in the western part of the county; it is one of very few rural public transit systems in the United States. To raise awareness and ridership, Western Kenosha County Transit requested assistance from the Leadership Kenosha Team in developing marketing materials to promote its services.

The team produced testimonial videos to include on WKCT’s website, and provided posters created by students at Bristol Elementary School. After speaking with current riders, they also discovered that one way to promote the public transit system to younger people is to emphasize how it contributes to a “green,” sustainable community. To build on this idea, the team set up an informational table at the Bristol Farmer’s Market (which is located adjacent to a stop for WKCT) and will staff it through the month of June.