CoGenerate recently teamed up with Fine Acts, a global creative studio for social impact, to launch an open call for illustrations showing generations working together for change. We’re looking for illustrations that show older and younger people coming together to...
The Latest from CoGenerate
In Georgia, These AmeriCorps Members Are Building Intergenerational Bonds
What is your program called, and how does it work? Ampact Georgia’s Reading Corps & Math Corps places AmeriCorps members of all ages in schools to serve as tutors. Our staff works with schools to identify students in need of tutorial services, assess those...
Seniors in Service Is Bringing AmeriCorps Members of All Ages Together To Tackle Food Insecurity in Tampa Bay
What is your program called, and how does it work? Seniors in Service is bringing members of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors together to fight food insecurity. They serve together at local pantries that depend on volunteers to provide food for hundreds of families...
A New Conversation About Service That Crosses Generations
Can a single meal begin to bridge divides? Back in January, two major partners in CoGenerate’s work teamed up to find out. On the MLK Day of Service, Generations Over Dinner and AmeriCorps joined with senior living communities across the country to host more than 100...
Purpose Prize Fellow 2012
Czerkas alleviates hunger and social isolation among low-income residents of Madison, Wisc., by providing free food and services in a welcoming atmosphere.
In 2000, Andy Czerkas and his wife, Jenny, began volunteering in low-income and senior housing complexes in Madison, Wisc., neighborhoods marked by poverty. Czerkas was motivated by religious faith and a sense of service that dated back more than 25 years, when – upon breaking free from alcoholism – he made a commitment to help others.
Czerkas and his wife worked with the neighborhoods to provide free monthly dinners, threw back-to-school parties and organized holiday gift programs. But it wasn’t enough. Families routinely had to choose between paying rent or buying food.
That’s why Czerkas opened The River Food Pantry in 2006 in a rented warehouse to provide free food, clothing, household items and hot meals. Clients shop in the pantry weekly as if in a grocery store. Today the pantry feeds about 600 families a week, distributing 1.3 million pounds of food every year, while providing medical screenings, job search training and other services.
The pantry also fosters a sense of community through a friendly, family-like atmosphere. It’s a place where people facing the same struggles can feel connected. Many opt to volunteer at the pantry.