News: Neillsville - Donates to ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ (2022)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Morrow, Schoenherr, LaValley

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/11/2022

Neillsville Community Donates to ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ (2022)

Jackie Schoenherr (l), a letter carrier from the Neillsville post office, and Donna LaValley, a volunteer at the Clark County Area Food Pantry and Resource Center, sort donations, check dates and weigh the total amounts before stocking the shelves for local families in need during the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive that took place May 14 all around America. Jesse Heslip/Clark County Press

By Jess Heslip

One in eight Americans face hunger every day, including a number of folks right here in Clark County. However, residents and mail carriers recently teamed up to address this issue. The Neillsville food pantry received a helping hand through a national program to combat hunger in conjunction with the U.S. Post Office.

During the “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive this past Saturday, Neillsville residents could leave a donation of nonperishable food by their mailbox for the local mail carrier to pick up.

The Neillsville food pantry had a goal going into the weekend of collecting 6,000 pound of food. As of this writing, they had weighed over 4,500 pounds, with a huge pile left that needed to be weighed.

“It’s looking really good,” said food pantry director Judy Morrow of meeting the goal.

Morrow was hard at work with some other volunteers on Saturday during the food drive.

“We are a pretty easy bunch; the only requirement we have is that you are hungry,” Morrow stated.

The volunteers couldn’t say enough times how important it is to come from a place of kindness and compassion when dealing with people who are in a tight spot.

“People can stop in once a month. They will get to go through and shop our pantry based on the size of the family, but everyone leaves with a month’s worth of food,” Morrow said.

She also stated that consideration will always be given, and arrangements can be made if someone needs to come in more often.

The shelves in the food pantry are stocked by the generosity of local residents and businesses that make donations. There is always a need for items at the food pantry, but some are more sought after.

“Our freezers give us the ability to freeze meat and that is a big draw for people when they come in, that they area able to take some meat home,” Morrow said.

Meat and paper products are the two biggest needs that the pantry faces most regularly. Cash donations are converted quickly into those items as well.

“Our customer count has actually fallen recently; we relocated, and I just don’t think people know where we are yet,” Morrow said.

On top of local donations, Morrow makes orders twice a month from Feed My People, a nonprofit dedicated to feeding the hungry. Established in 1982, the organization’s website states that “for every dollar donated, we can stretch it to buy $10 worth of food.”

The food pantry also assists with the local homeless population when they are issued vouchers for hotel rooms. Morrow gets them supplies they will need during their stay.

There are other resources as well. People in need can contact Morrow for assistance and she will be able to point them in the right direction.

“We have a basic sign-up sheet. There is no income level [requirement] and we don’t ask a ton of questions; just come in and one of our volunteers will walk you around the store and load a car. If you are hungry, you qualify,” Morrow was quick to remind.

The Clark County Area Food Pantry and Resource Center is at 1031 East Division St. in Neillsville. The pantry is open for guests on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. It is for Clark County residents; one does not have to live in Neillsville to receive food. In an emergency or for questions regarding services offered, or to volunteer or donate, call Judy Morrow at 715-743-2885.

The ‘Stamp Out Hunger” food drive is held every year the second Saturday in May and has been helping food pantries across the U.S. for over 25 years. In that time, Americans have donated more than 1.8 billion pounds of food. Nearly 1,500 National Association of Letter Carriers branches are involved in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.



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