Thanks to generous support from the La Crosse Community Foundation’s Robert & Eleanor Franke Charitable Foundation Fund in 2012, Hillview began the Market Baskets program—an easy, fun and interactive way to bring low-cost, tasty and nutritious meals to families’ tables in the La Crosse area. Designed to appeal to all ages, the Market Baskets classes and demonstrations are created to quickly teach participants how to prepare low-cost and tasty meals with minimal preparation and cleanup. The initial goal of the program was to distribute 800 free slow cookers and enough legumes and whole grains for 20,000 meals to families throughout the La Crosse area and to pair the slow cooker meals with locally and seasonally grown vegetables. That goal was reached in 2017.
Hillview is now collaborating with the Viterbo Dietetics department, Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program UW-Extension La Crosse County, and the La Crosse Family YMCA, teaching cooking & food preservation classes throughout the La Crosse area. Classes are held at various places including the Erickson Boys & Girls Club, HOPE Academy, WAFER Food Pantry, the La Crosse Family YMCA, and Southside Neighborhood Center, to name a few.
Other collaborations and support are provided by the Hunger Task Force, Lee Harwell Photography, Mayo Clinic Health System, People’s Food Co-op, the Salvation Army, and Savory Creations.