Access–to food and opportunities–is something very important to Kat McCard.
With that, McCard doesn’t sit around and wait for opportunities–to do, change, create and grow things–to come to her. Instead, she puts herself out there and makes it happen, which is exactly how she got an internship for the spring semester.
McCard is a nontraditional student at UW Oshkosh; she’s a 27-year-old mother of two who let her passion drive an internship with Growing Oshkosh, a startup, nonprofit urban farm located in downtown Oshkosh.
“Access to quality food is a real problem for low-income families,” McCard said. “So, I got involved with Growing Oshkosh.”
Plus, McCard said, it means a lot to her to be involved with an organization founded by a group of women. Growing Oshkosh was started by UW Oshkosh alumna Dani Stolley ’97 with strong support from three other founding females, who also are board members.
Through her internship, McCard works on many aspects of Growing Oshkosh. She’s at the forefront of organizing volunteers, website content development, social networking initiatives, traditional outreach and more.
“Kat has had an immediate impact on our growing organization. Before the semester even started, she began making connections to the Women’s Studies program, as well as with the Veterans Resource Center on campus. She’s an amazing asset to Growing Oshkosh, and her connection to campus programs and resources is invaluable.” Stolley said.
McCard, a veteran herself, also is deeply involved with the Veterans Resource Center at UW Oshkosh; she’s also the secretary of the Student Veterans Association on campus. Still, she finds time to put in about 15 hours per week with Growing Oshkosh.
“I want to be able to show other women, other moms, that healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive or out of reach,” McCard said. “Low cost and local food exists, you just have to know where to find it.”
Growing Oshkosh, still in the beginning phases of sowing and food production, currently offers a limited selection of vegetables and herbs. This summer, a booth at the Oshkosh Farmers Market will offer a larger selection to the community at reasonable prices.