Menomonee Falls food pantry needs a little holiday help
Demand keeps rising; a variety of options available for donations
Menomonee Falls - The Menomonee Falls Area Food Pantry could use a boost.
Every week more and more families come to the pantry, W15382 Menomonee River Parkway, to pick up food at the makeshift grocery store in order to make it through the week.
As of Sept. 30, the pantry has served more than 600 households and 1,000 people in the greater Menomonee Falls area in 2012, Food Pantry spokeswoman Colleen Schmidt said. For the entire 2011 year, 590 households and 1,545 individuals were served.
"It keeps going up, it's a lot and every week we seem to get more families that sign up," Schmidt said.
With an increase in need going into the winter months, how can area residents help keep the food bank afloat during the holidays and beyond?
Pick a tag, feed a person
There are numerous ways to donate throughout the holiday season. On Friday, the Business Improvement District's Menomonee Falls Food Pantry Holiday Giving Tree was set up in Centennial Park, Appleton Avenue and Main Street, and decorated with tags. On each tag, the name of an item the food pantry needs is written on the back.
"We will have hundreds of tags on it. Then when people bring back their tag and food, they will get an ornament to put their name on - one ornament per tag brought back - and they can hang it on the tree," BID Manager Barb Watters said.
Items and tags can be dropped off at the Village Center office, W16712 Appleton Ave. Thanksgiving donations can be brought to the office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 and Christmas donations can be made from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 24 or people can call Watters at (262) 251-8797 for drop-off times other than those listed.
Other opportunities to donate nonperishable items to the food pantry include the Menomonee Falls Christmas Parade slated for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 25, which starts on Main Street west of Pilgrim Road and travels west on Main Street, then south on Appleton Avenue. The pantry is also hosting a Breakfast with Santa event scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 15 at the Radisson Hotel, N88 W14750 Main Street. The breakfast costs $9.95 and participants get a free picture with Santa in exchange for a donation of a food item.
Year round need for food
Though Schmidt said the need is always great over the holidays, the food pantry is in constant need of supplies year round.
"We try to have the pantry shelves stocked so that people have options," Schmidt said.
The pantry is in constant need of canned fruit, baked goods including cooking oil, flour, sugar, and cake mixes, canned meat including tuna fish, chicken and salmon, as well as pasta and soup that is hearty enough for a meal.
Donations of nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the pantry 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The pantry has also started a new giving program in an effort to get the community involved in the fight to end hunger called Adopt A Shelf/Adopt A Utility.
The pantry is asking local businesses to either adopt a shelf by selecting a food shelf at the pantry and bringing in those items every week for a month. A utility bill could also be adopted for a month or a year, whichever time frame a business or organization is able to meet. Legacy Christian Church and Children's Community Center are the first organizations to adopt shelves.
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