As the only food bank in west central Wisconsin, Feed My People distributes
125,000+ pounds of food a week and 7 million pounds a year to local
agencies. We are a cost effective way to provide pantries, community tables,
and shelters enough food so thousands of people can be helped each month.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Community Rallies After Devastating Fire
"Mike the church is burning!" was the voicemail received by Mike and Trish Houle early Tuesday morning. Mike is the pastor at Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls. The church is home to a pantry that partners with Feed My People to serve about 180 local residents each month.
Usually food is distributed on Tuesday nights. Those in the church community and the ones they serve never expected to move forward with distribution that night, but that is just what they did.
Trish, Mike's wife and one of the early coordinators of the pantry expounded, "Early that morning I got a text from one of our committed volunteers asking, 'How can we do this tonight?' Before I could even reply she responded, 'Never mind, we are doing this for our families!'"
LouAnn, the pantry coordinator, made a phone call to us at Feed My People and over 500 pounds of food was donated along with staff and volunteer time to help get the food picked, delivered and set up at the site.
Trish continued to explain how overwhelmed she was with all the support - the 500 pounds of food donated by Feed My People, the large party tent that was set up to put food in for the night and all the food brought throughout the day by generous community members.
Regular attendees of the pantry seemed equally overwhelmed. "When I heard the news this morning I was really surprised and could not believe this had happened," said one pantry goer. "I really needed this food tonight, but my first thought wasn't about the food I needed, it was about wanting to help in some way even though I have no money. I was so surprised that they were still having the pantry tonight and with how much food I was able to still get."
Plans to continue distributing in the upcoming months without a permanent space are already in the works for Valley Vineyard Food Pantry. "At first we were devastated about the building, but everyone coming together to pull tonight off has shown us that it was just a building and we, our pantry and church, are really based on the passionate people behind it," said Trish. "We are just so thankful everyone is safe and that we are a part of such a supportive community."