Menomonee Falls — Organizers of the Menomonee Falls Area Food Pantry are hoping people will share their vision for the future of the growing organization with a fundraiser that officially kicks off Oct. 15.
The pantry, a service that has been a part of Menomonee Falls for about 30 years, will be relocated in the near future because of the closing of the Hiawatha School building, a venue the pantry has called home throughout most of its existence.
Organizers are hoping to raise $500,000 to cover costs associated with the move and an expansion effort.
A newly named organization, Falls Area Community Services, has been given oversight of the pantry and recently selected a new location east of the Trenary Field baseball diamond at Pilgrim Road and Menomonee River Parkway.
Twelve people have been named to the organization's board of directors. The board recently announced its fundraising campaign, Embrace the Vision, that will kick-start the physical building move that is targeted for late in 2010.
The pantry will occupy an existing, vacant building at the site that is being donated to FACS by the village. FACS is aiming to create a 2,400-square-foot addition to the building for enhanced warehouse space.
Kathy Wodushek, executive director of the pantry, said a date for the relocation remains in flux; a firm date will be set in stone once donor dollars become available.
"As soon as the funding starts coming in, we'll begin looking at the move," she said. "We're hoping to move by the end of the year."
Wodushek said the campaign is expected to last about a year. In addition to the immediate need - the cost of relocating and making the expansion - the targeted $500,000 will go toward routine operating expenses and an endowment fund that will be earmarked for a number of additional services under consideration in the future.
In a statement, Warren Granke, who serves on the organization's Finance Committee, outlined some of the new services FACS is considering. Future possibilities include providing furniture and clothing to those in need and a referral service for family, financial, legal and spiritual counseling.
"We have a vision and we stand ready to walk through the door of faith for the vision to become a reality," Granke said in the statement. "Our building plans are in place; the only part left is the financial commitment of the community."
Wodushek said about 420 families are currently registered to receive services through the pantry. She said most recipients are seniors and children, though people of all ages receive food.
If you want to donate
There are three ways a person can donate funds:
WHAT: Embrace the Vision, a fundraiser for the Menomonee Falls Area Food Pantry
• The Menomonee Falls branch of M&I Bank has set up a fund for this; people can go to that branch, W15415 Appleton Ave., and have money deposited into the account;
• drop off donations in person at the existing pantry location, N84 W16579 Menomonee Ave., during hours of operation, 12:30 to 2 p.m. or 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays;
• mail a donation directly to the pantry, N84 W16579 Menomonee Ave., Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
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