Cook it Forward

What is Cook it Forward?

Cook It Forward is a collaboration between local restaurants and local nonprofits to create an end-to-end distribution network to tackle food insecurity in Madison. Collaboration for Good partnered with Downtown Madison restaurants to produce healthy, fresh meals for insecure families, seniors, and people with disabilities. The meals are safely created, individually packaged, and delivered to local food banks, pantries, and other sites, serving as an intermediary. Last-mile distribution partners will ensure that the growing number of individuals and families who need the food, and without recourse to access it, receive it.


We are super excited. Since the end of May, we've been quietly working on this project called, "Cook It Forward." Cook It Forward may be the first of its kind #foodinsecurity relief project.

What makes it so special?

A number of projects, programs, nonprofits, and for-profits have stepped up to deal with the growth of food insecurity caused by #COVID19. But most target distribution centers, making the assumption that everyone can get to a food pantry or nearby community center and get aid. If only, that were true. 

We don't know the exact numbers, but we do know that there are multiple hundreds of families who are both food insecure and lack mobility. Some lack transportation, some lack secondary care for young children, some are elderly, some are people with disabilities, and more.

Additionally, these programs frequently focus all the attention on getting the food— the restaurants, the pantries, and distribution sites, but little to no attention on the people and programs who step-up to fill in the gaps. To make sure that the grandmother taking care of her children's children can provide them food. The "last-mile" service providers who ensure that the food goes to where it is needed most.

Our goal with Cook It Forward is to ensure that those who need food and lack the ability/mobility to get access to it are provided for. We are working with nonprofits who have already been called to the cause, to participate. Foster Of Dane County, Urban Triage, EOTO, LLC, Freedom Inc, Allied Wellness Center, Kennedy Heights Community Center, Badger Rock Neighborhood Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, and Fountain of Life Covenant Church in Madison,WI are just the start.

The list of participating restaurants is AWESOME. Merchant, Morris Ramen, Lucille, Graze, Madtown Food Services, Sardine, Marie's Soul Food, LLC, La Taguara Madison, Marigold Kitchen, and more. Visit the website to check them out:

Our goal is to deliver 50,000 meals to the food insecure within the next few months.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this effort comes with a price tag, and we're all so happy to work with these sponsors and partners— Zendesk, Taste of Madison Gives Back, American Family Dream Foundation, Steve Stricker Foundation, and you. More partners and providers are signing on, and your donation can help. So visit to learn more.