Food pantries urge people to donate to Press-Gazette Media’s Stock the Shelves campaign as the effort enters its final week.
“It simply is neighbors helping neighbors, and helping someone put food on the table is one of the best things you can do for somebody,” said Jessica Ellingsworth, spokeswoman of The Salvation Army of Brown County. The charity operates a food pantry weekdays at the west-side offices at 626 Union Court.
“Many people do not have that luxury of being able to shop for meals themselves, so they turn to food pantries to count on for their holiday meals,” she said.
Stock the Shelves has a $100,000 fundraising goal to benefit 11 area pantries and programs. The campaign, which began Oct. 14, was initially scheduled to end today but was extended until Dec. 2.
Ellingsworth said The Salvation Army has seen a 10 percent increase in the need for food, and the organization has distributed more than 10,600 bags of groceries so far this year. Families are eligible for two bags of groceries each month, she said.
“Our pantry is open to people throughout the year, so we count on these large efforts, such as Stock the Shelves, to keep our shelves furnished not only now, but through the year.”
Angie Allard, manager of Paul’s Pantry in Green Bay, said more families need food daily, and the facility almost ran out of canned vegetables a few weeks ago.
“We try to put the best we can on the shelves, but sometimes we run low,” Allard said. “Whatever anybody can do, we would really appreciate it.”
Paul’s Pantry, 1520 Leo Frigo Drive, also gives families paper products, and Allard said she has witnessed children so hungry that they eat toilet paper or Kleenex while their parents select food. Other times children cry or act out because their stomachs are empty, she said.
“I don’t want to see a child go hungry,” she said. “They don’t understand why there’s no food to feed them.”
About 4,500 families, including 3,000 children, are registered with Paul’s Pantry, she said, adding some people fall on hard times when they loss their job or when unemployment benefits run out.
Allard said the pantry also must pay for gasoline for vehicles to pick up food from donating grocery stores or restaurants. A portion of funds from Stock the Shelves would be used for that, as well as for buying perishable items, such as milk and eggs, she said.
“It would mean a lot to the people we’re taking care of now. We truly appreciate the community for helping us.”
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