Letter From the Executive Director
Dear Friends of The Food Pantry,
Thanks to the many donors throughout our community, we are able to do profoundly good work – feed thousands of people each month. But, is that enough? The Board of Directors and staff of the Food Pantry of Waukesha County are committed to doing more – through increasing our advocacy efforts. That word – advocacy – may connote visions of lofty goals that seem unattainable. We remain convinced that local issues can be solved with local solutions and advocacy needs to be part of the long-term answers.
To help clarify that role through the Pantry, I looked up the meanings of advocacy. I was pleased to see that “change for the better” was part of one of the definitions. Another proclaimed that: “Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes.” Through our website, newsletters, and information to our clients and through the community, we have begun to provide information and tools to truly encourage “change for the better.”
The current state of the economy has meant that more people than ever are eligible for services through the Food Pantry and perhaps through other agencies and programs. One way that more food can be obtained for school-age children is through the free-and-reduced meal programs offered at the local schools. Application for the meal program may be made at any time during the school year. Search through the Need Our Help? on our website to find details about participating schools.
It came as no surprise to learn that a downturn in the economy brought about increased use of the free Internet services in the public library system. Indeed, many of our clients indicate that they have found our website while doing a search online at the library. To further facilitate finding local resources, a poster of websites addressing basic needs was created. The libraries agreed to post the listings, which can also be found on our website.
For another way to help maximize monetary resources, introduce fresh and healthy seasonal food options into one’s diet and support local growers, consider shopping at one of Waukesha County’s many Farmers' Markets. Visit the Need Our Help? page on our website to find a list of this year’s locations and times.
And, finally, we can further advocate through you – by asking you to spread the word about the tools listed here and also to encourage people to use the Pantry when hit by an economic hardship. We often hear about people who have been laid off from their jobs, had hours reduced, or have otherwise experienced a reduction in income and yet are unsure if they are eligible for services. We support use of the Pantry so that monetary resources can be maximized for housing costs, COBRA insurance costs, and other necessary expenses. We ask you to be our emissaries in the community to share that message.