However you live your life in Washburn County, there are so many other people living their lives exactly opposite of yours.

Dawn Schliesmann, the Indianhead Community Action Agency’s specialist, reports that this past January there were ten homeless people in Washburn County, many living out of their vehicles.

Darby Smith, supervisor for the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) in Spooner reports that during 2016 alone their volunteers drove over 56,741 miles transporting seniors, or those with disabilities to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and elsewhere.

Bridget Rongner, the program assistant for Faith in Action says that their volunteers have driven over 11,140 miles to assist Washburn County residents with local transportation, shopping and errand running, and visits to their homes where they might help with seasonal yard work, home chores, minor home repairs and construction and lots of friendly visits


'Around Town' by Diane Dryden is sponsored in part by ICAA


Each of these women are major forces in their own rights in their own organizations, but put them all together with a common cause, and stand back and be amazed.

Dawn, a woman who knows the value of networking, especially when ICAA is involved, has always had a food pantry open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm, has added another day for the pantry; a day easier for those using the pantry and holding a job, they can now stop by for groceries on Saturday.

That’s right, now pantry people living in Washburn County can go in on every 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

To qualify for once a month food distribution, the following guidelines apply.

If the household size is one person, and the gross monthly income is $1,859 or below it qualifies.

  • For 2 it’s $2,504.00
  • For 3 it’s $3,146.00
  • For 4 it’s $3,793.00
  • For 5 it’s $4,437.00
  • For 6 it’s $5,081.00
  • For 7 it’s $5,726.00
  • For 8 it’s $6,370.00
  • For 9 it’s $7,659.00

The amount of food is very generous and there is usually canned or fresh fruit, breads, rice or pasta and frozen meats, enough for three or four days.

Once again this year the four-acre Community Garden is in full swing, thanks to a generous and untiring planter and the volunteers who weed, water and harvest all the vegetables throughout the summer.

As the crops ripen, not only are these fresh from the garden veggies available to food pantry people but this year there will be an open Farmer’s Market for the public every Friday featuring potatoes, tomatoes tomatillos, beans, squash and lots of other vegetables fresh and ready.

Recipes are available for many of the veg and there is often someone demonstrating how to use vegetables that are unfamiliar to most of us; tomatillos come to mind.

This year both Faith in Action and the ADRC are making transportation available for those using the food pantry. Each service suggests a small donation that goes toward fuel costs and where the ADRC will transport those who are disabled or over age sixty to the pantry, Faith in Action will pick up orders and deliver them to the home, staying to help put the groceries away if needed.

All three women agree that “No one should ever be hungry in Washburn County”, and have made arrangements that will prevent that and welcome people to become familiar with what they offer.

For more information on signing up for food, call Connections Store and More (ICAA) at 715-635-3975. They are located on Highway 70 east on the frontage road.

The Faith in Action office at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Spooner is now staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. They would appreciate a 24 to 48-hour notice for service. Leave a message if needed and they will get back to you, 715-635-2252.

The ADRC office is at 850 W. Beaverbrook Ave, Suite 4 in Spooner, right next to the fairground and their number is 715-635-4461

Everyone is ready and willing to help and encourage everyone to share this information with those that might be falling through the cracks; those that could use a hand up.

Back to Front - Darby Smith, Dawn Schliesmann, Bridget Rongner


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