Dohmen Company Foundation investing $1.6 million in healthy food-related nonprofits

Programs focus on health and wellness initiatives 

Alignment of a company’s philanthropic and business goals provides win-wins for multiple stakeholders according to Koshgarian and Bishop.
Koshgarian

In keeping with its mission to help prevent chronic disease before it happens by supporting local programs focused on health and wellness, the Dohmen Company Foundation announced it is investing $1.6 million in several nonprofits.

The nonprofits set to receive this funding are all helping strengthen the city’s food and nutrition ecosystem, according to a press release from the Milwaukee-based foundation.

The nine Milwaukee-based nonprofits receiving grants include:

  • FoodRight: This program plans to use the funding to start an evidence-based culinary nutrition program for 1,100 grade school students and 3,700 family members.
  • HeartLove Place: This program will provide 14 weeks of training for up to 30 adults in the culinary arts and educate those looking to enter careers in the food service and hospitality industries.
  • Milwaukee Center for Independence: The center will create a food navigator position, which will aim to help prevent childhood obesity and malnutrition while increasing access to healthy food for over 10,000 kids ages 5-18.
  • The Riverwest Food Pantry: Both a new wellness director and expanded programming are in the works. According to the press release, the new programming will improve food habits and skills for over 12,750 people. Improving transitory food insecurity and chronic food insecurity are also goals.
  • Halyard Park Neighborhood Association: Funding will support a health, wellness and safety neighborhood initiative.
  • The MKE United Anti-displacement Fund: This program will help combat the rising rate of displacement in the city by paying increases in property taxes for nearly 100 long-term, low-income homeowners adjacent to the downtown area.
  • MATC/NEWaukee Gap Year: Funding will be used to support a new program for high school grads to learn more about possible careers, including those within the health and wellness field.
  • Teens Grow Greens: This program will work to promote entrepreneurship and employment skill-building through a “Pitch Night” event.

In addition, the foundation is providing what it said is a “critical seed investment” to the Food is Medicine Coalition, a national association of nonprofit, medically tailored food and nutrition service providers. The funding will support the coalition’s strategic planning process, programming and hiring executive leadership to lead the coalition.

“As a philanthropic enterprise and community partner, we believe that nutritious food has the power to transform health,” said Kathy Koshgarian, president of The Dohmen Company Foundation, in a statement. “That is why we are dedicated to investing in organizations and programs focused on regaining and preserving American health.

The Dohmen Company Foundation is hoping that the $1.6 million can positively impact the lives of 30,000 people by providing greater access to nutrition, education, employment opportunities in the health and wellness fields, and financial support to help address issues that can negatively affect someone’s health.

In 2019, Dohmen transitioned from a for-profit, family-owned S-Corp to a foundation-owned philanthropic enterprise. Since then, the organization has distributed over $5 million to more than 30 nonprofit organizations.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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