Food Pantry Usage Up, Donations Down

St Nicholas’ next Supplemental Food Pantry hours will be Wednesday, July 7 at 430pm at the parish house. Fresh veggies from our garden soon, next food drive this fall!

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Some churches have ongoing collections, but donations tend to decrease during the summer months. The pantry benefits from organized drives, such as those conducted by postal workers, Boy Scouts and the Ho-Chunk casino.

“This is an ongoing thing, and truly, we are so blessed in this community and this area, because we receive tremendous support from food donations and monetary donations so we can purchase the things we need to purchase,” Steele said.

Not all needs are covered by the food pantry. Kyle Ruud oversees the Essentials Pantry at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, which helps families in need with non-food products, such as toilet paper, personal hygiene items and some household supplies.

“At the present time, we have about 800 families registered,” she said. “We see about 120 to 130 persons in the four hours we are open.”

Open Wednesday afternoons, the pantry will close July 7 until September to restructure its system.

It’s difficult to run an all-volunteer, all-donations food pantry program, and the dedicated people who do this work deserve huge kudos. At our own pantry, we see more families each week in need of a little extra help. Now that employment benefits may be running out for many, it may become more of a necessity for Elk Grove area families to know where they might be able to drop in on the first and third Wednesdays to pick up food and non-food items (paper products, personal care products) that are not covered by food stamps, and we’re open after normal work hours so that working families have someplace to try when they can’t get to conventional pantries during those times.

The next big food drive will be in the fall, so Elk Grove families may find our door hangers and grocery bags during that time. We ask you to think of your neighbors who might be struggling to put food on the table for their families, and please give generously. We have been blessed, too, with unexpected large donations from commercial food operations, and if your business can donate non-perishable food items, personal care products, cleaning products, or other non-food items that families and singles can’t buy with food stamps, please consider donating surplus (but not expired) items. Contact Fr. Manny Borg via the church (or send email to with “Attention Fr. Manny Borg” or “Attention Food Pantry” in the subject line.

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