United Way donation keeps Mobile Market trucking

June 28, 2012
by Kenya Evans

(Photo by Sue Vliet)

(Photo by Kenya C. Evans)

United Way of Greater Milwaukee donated $25,000 to the Mobile Market program to keep it running until the end of September, and SET Ministry Inc. has been named the program’s fiscal agent, according to SHARE Wisconsin’s Executive Director Paulette Flynn.

“I’m very pleased at how this is coming together,” said Flynn. “The Mobile Market was my baby, and I want to make sure it’s handled well.”

SHARE Wisconsin, the volunteer-run food-buying program, announced in the spring that it would close its doors in May due to a struggling economy, but was seeking a new sponsor to sustain the successful Mobile Market program. The Mobile Market was scheduled to make its last truck stop at the end of June.

United Way’s donation will give SHARE time to create a plan for the Mobile Market after the fiscal year ends in September, according to Flynn.

Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact at United Way, said she read about the Mobile Market closing, and was alarmed. “We wanted to make sure there was no stop in the program over the summer,” Angresano added.

During the transition, an advisory board will be developed that includes members from the boards of SHARE and SET Ministries. Additionally, SET, which becomes the fiscal agent July 1, will conduct a study to understand how the Mobile Market operates, and how it can be sustainable. “In that interim, we’ll be able to work together to bring (SET) up to speed on the business model,” said Flynn.

If all goes well with SET as the fiscal agent, the organization will most likely take on the Mobile Market as one of its programs on Oct. 1, according Flynn.

“We plan to be involved in the transition period of the program to help find it a permanent home, and once that happens, we’ll definitely consider making additional donations,” Angresano said.

Related article: Supporters hold out hope for future of Mobile Market 

SET (Service, Empowerment, Transformation), 2977 N. 50th St., as fiscal agent for the Mobile Market, will be responsible for the program’s finances and providing administrative support. SET has been serving the Milwaukee community in health and human services for 27 years.

“Having uninterrupted Mobile Market service is a great thing because of our ability to bring affordable healthy foods to those who are underserved by traditional grocery stores,” Flynn said. “We want the healthier choice to be the easy choice.”

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