kid eating lunch at woodlands school

MCFI Named Local Food for Schools Grant Recipient

By Kasey Chard, Associate Director, Development & Donor Engagement

MILWAUKEE (Jan. 31, 2023) – The Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), an affiliate of the Centers for Independence, has received a $500,000 award from the Wisconsin Local Food for Schools program. 

This award supports MCFI’s efforts to provide healthy and nutritious meals for children enrolled in the nearly 120 school partners that the agency serves. Specifically, the award provides the opportunity for MCFI to expand its supply chain to include local, unprocessed, and minimally processed food from small businesses or socially disadvantaged farmers or producers. 

“We’re very excited to be part of the movement to incorporate locally sourced food into healthy meals for Wisconsin’s school breakfast and lunch program,” said Heidi Chada, MCFI Vice President of Nutrition Services.

MCFI is the second largest provider of healthy meals for children in the metro Milwaukee area, producing and distributing more than 20,000 meals each school day. These meals are prepared across four commercial production kitchens located throughout Milwaukee.  A much needed fifth kitchen is expected to open soon at 27th and Wells Street as part of the Near West Side Partners Association’s Concordia 27 initiative. This kitchen will meet increased demand from additional charter and parochial schools looking to partner with MCFI for their students’ nutrition needs with locally available fruit, vegetable, meat, and dairy products.

Click here to read about the Concordia 27 project.


The Centers for Independence has strengthened communities by integrating health care and social services for 85 years. CFI is committed to the Science of Hope and a trauma-informed care approach to care. Please visit for more information.