Ascension Wisconsin is donating $500,000 to PRISM Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to continue the health system’s support of the COVID-19 Emergency Meals Program, UpStart Kitchen entrepreneurs and the development of a youth culinary training program. These initiatives provide immediate relief from food insecurity related to an increased demand and limited access during the COVID-19 pandemic while strengthening the future economic stability of some of the most underserved communities in Milwaukee. The $300,000 cash and $200,000 in-kind donation will support new programs and the expansion of existing ones.
“Health and prosperity go hand-in-hand. An important part of being an anchor in this community is working with others not only to address our most pressing health challenges but also to support the long-term vitality, economic development and neighborhood revitalization on Milwaukee’s North side,” said Reggie Newson, chief community impact and advocacy officer, Ascension Wisconsin. “By expanding opportunities for food-related entrepreneurs, we not only support new business growth but also fill a need for emergency meal preparation. It’s a win-win.”
In Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood, UpStart Kitchen provides local food entrepreneurs access to an affordable, fully equipped commercial kitchen and business resources to grow or start their own food business. This donation expands on Ascension Wisconsin’s funding of thousands of meals for vulnerable residents as well as providing 100 diabetic-friendly and healthy meals each week through the Ascension Ebenezer Health Resource Center for high-risk senior citizens, moms-to-be and diabetic patients.
“We are grateful to Ascension Wisconsin for the past support of our COVID emergency meals program and this on-going collaboration,” said Bishop Walter Harvey, president emeritus and CEO, PRISM EDC. “Together we are working to create a better future for the residents of Milwaukee’s Sherman Park
This community investment supports Ascension Wisconsin’s mission to improve the lives of individuals and communities it’s privileged to serve, with a special focus on those who are living in poverty and who are vulnerable. In Sherman Park, Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – St. Joseph Campus provides important, traditional health care services to care for the community, but a healthy community requires more than access to health care.
Studies show social determinants of health such as housing, jobs, food, transportation, finances and health behaviors can have a greater impact on the health and well-being of a community than access to quality health care. By providing support to non-profit organizations like PRISM EDC, Ascension Wisconsin builds on its commitment to deliver ‘health beyond health care’ to its patients and the community.
About Ascension Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, Ascension operates 17 hospital campuses, more than 100 related health care facilities and employs more than 1,100 primary and specialty care clinicians from Racine to Appleton. Serving Wisconsin since 1848, Ascension is a faith-based health care organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit and Catholic health system in the U.S., operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 139 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.