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Unique partnership at Edgewood College earns civic engagement award

The Healthy Food for All partnership at Edgewood College has received the Esther Letven Campus-Community Partnership Award at the annual Campus Compact for Wisconsin (CCWI) Civic Engagement Institute.

The award recognizes outstanding community partnerships in Wisconsin, and recipients are selected by a committee of community partners. The award honors Esther Letven, a former UW-Parkside employee who helped to build infrastructure to support and promote community engagement there. Letven is also a founding member of CCWI.

At the awards ceremony, CCWI officials said strong partnerships support the public purposes of higher education, by promoting student learning and development as both citizens and professionals.

The Healthy Food for All partnership is part of a capstone course within the School of Business at Edgewood College. Each semester, teams of students work with a community partner who has identified some need for business-related skills. Since 2017, students have worked with Healthy Food for All and Four Lakes Processing Collective, both of which have relationships with FEED Kitchens, to address hunger and food waste in the Madison area.

Through this partnership, students have helped develop business and marketing plans for Healthy Food for All and Four Lakes Processing Collective, while gaining valuable, real world experience in the process. Students help with initiatives to address hunger, prevent food waste, and create economic opportunity to combat marginalization.

“The students… provided suggestions we could use immediately to create our brand and market our product,” Joe Mingle, Volunteer Coordinator at FEED Kitchens, said. “We could never have made such leaps forward without their skills, knowledge, commitment, and the guidance they get from their faculty.”