Life Changing Connections - Waukesha County Provides
In 2016, the FOOD Pantry of Waukesha County provided over $2.8 million dollars worth of high-quality, nutritious food to more than 7,600 unduplicated, low income Waukesha County residents. But, that is only a part of the story. Providing nutrition to those in need, in a dignified way requires more than food. Financial resources are needed for equipment, utilities costs, staff salaries and training, as well as purchasing the staple foods that are not usually found in the thousands and thousands of pounds of food donated to us each year. Foods like milk, eggs, and frozen meat are all regularly purchased by the FOOD Pantry.
For our guests, receiving food from the FOOD Pantry may only be part of the reason that they value our services. Because of dedicated volunteers and staff and consistent, high quality service, we have been able to earn the trust of those we serve. Many times, the needs shared by our guests cannot be directly addressed by the FOOD Pantry's services. However, because of our history, relationships, and community connections, other resources are shared with positive and far-reaching results.
Recently, a young man asked our Associate Director Judy Cesarec if she knew where he might be able to receive a free eye exam and glasses. His vision had gotten so bad that he could no longer drive at night. He's a caretaker for his elderly mother during the day, so evenings are the only time he had for employment but his vision was making it very difficult for him to find a job. Through a FOOD Pantry volunteer who worked for Wisconsin Vision, Judy was able to arrange a referral for the young man's eye exam. During the exam it was found out that, even though he was quite young, he had severe cataracts in both eyes. With financial help from two other agencies, Wisconsin Vision was able to make a referral to a surgeon and the cataracts were removed. The young man is now looking for that evening job, but now he's looking with a renewed enthusiasm, knowing his vision is restored and that there are others who care about him, his well-being, and the well-being of his family.
Life changing connections like this don't happen every day at the FOOD Pantry, but they do happen. Each and every day we refer at least one, sometime many clients to an agency or program that could be of help to them or their family. but I know that for the soon to be 40 years, we have been providing much more than just food to our clients. That's why our partnership with the three other agencies in Waukesha County Provides campaign is so special. It shows that by working together each of us can do so much more to make our community stronger and better, as well as a great place to live and work. I hope that we can count on your support March 9th so we can continue to make those life changing connections happen even more often.
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