“Moms on a Mission” use snacks and social time to build community bonds.

Kaziah Anderson was heartbroken by the state of her kids’ high school—her own alma mater—last school year. Lunchtime fights were breaking out weekly at Madison’s East High School. Some were so bad they had to be broken up by police officers with pepper spray.

Anderson knew something had to change. And she wanted to be a part of it. So, along with four other mothers—also East High alumni—she started Moms On a Mission (MOMs).

At lunch, MOMs are visibly present, handing out snacks and engaging with students in order to give them something to eat, but more than that, a sense of community and safety.

“We have been a consistent presence and we are there to support the students,” Anderson told Madison365 earlier this year. “We have special events like Taco Tuesday where tacos are just $1 behind the school.”

“Many of these students don’t have access to food at lunch, and so the snacks that we provide are sometimes the only thing that some of these students get to eat,” she added.

However, MOMs’ mission is getting expensive. This school year, the group is working with Families for Justice, JustDane, Midwest Mujeres, The Progress Center for Black Women, and the Emerson East Neighborhood Association to raise $7,250 to buy snacks for about 500 students every day. 

The group is also looking for volunteers to help distribute snacks, talk with students, and further the group’s long-term goal of creating positive social change within Wisconsin schools.

In the long run, the MOMs hope to start a conversation about keeping School Resource Officers out of Madison schools and replace them with volunteers—“MOMs” like them.

Anderson said the MOMs have received support from dozens of Democratic leaders and organizations, including state Sen. Melissa Agard, state Rep. Francesca Hong, JustDane Executive Director Linda Ketcham, and Urban Triage CEO Brandi Grayson.

Interested in donating? 

All donations are tax-deductible. You can give on the group’s GoFundMe page here, or mail your donation to:

JustDane, ATTN: MOMs

2115 S. Park St.

Madison, WI 53703

Able to volunteer?

Click here to sign up online.