Fond du Lac County Presented at the Very First Wisconsin“Community Health Shark Tank”

Nearly a year ago, the White House hosted the first conference on hunger, nutrition, and health in 50 years. As a result, they came up with a big goal – to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. This is known as the “White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities.” For more information, visit:

The next steps of this involved working with state and local organizations and partners, including anti-hunger and nutrition advocates, community-based organizations, food producers, tribal communities, universities, etc. in the years ahead to make a difference. Fond du Lac, LaCrosse/Great Rivers Region, Marshfield Area, and Green County were hand selected to participate in this. Over the past 8 months, the Fond du Lac Area United Way has convened key community partners, including Amanda Miller (UW-Madison Extension’s Health and Well-Being Educator), the Fond du Lac Public Health Department, SSM/Agnesian, and Envision Fond du Lac to work on the project decided upon by the local team: a “farm to early child care (ECE)” project. The goal is to build a system, or infrastructure, to make it easier for early child care sites to procure and purchase locally-sourced, fresh farm foods. The team had local farms and child care sites involved. 

During this time, the team has personally met with White House representatives and state public health leaders. Business professors from UW-Madison helped advise the project, bringing public health issues together through a business model lens. In March, the local team presented to a panel of “Sharks” in a similar concept as the television show “Shark Tank.” The LaCrosse/Great Rivers Region team was awarded the top prize, but the Fond du Lac project received very positive feedback, as well as some monetary donations and donated expert consulting time to move forward with this project in the future.

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