Hunger is seen in our rural community every day. There are approximately 2.8 million rural households that face hunger. Many families are put in tough situations where they have to choose between paying the bills or buying food. Some families need to pay for expensive medications and cannot afford food. Locally, Connections Store and More, Burnett County Food Shelf, and Indianhead Community Action Agency serve roughly 200 Burnett County families each month to try and combat hunger.
Feeding Wisconsin is the statewide network of food banks that sources, warehouses, and provides food to over 750 affiliated agencies and 1,000 local food programs throughout Wisconsin, including the ones mentioned above. Their vision is a hunger-free Wisconsin, which means Wisconsin families have the access to the food and benefits during hard times so they can work and focus on turning their lives around; Wisconsin children have the nutritious food they need to be healthy and to be prepared to learn in school; Wisconsin food banks and food pantries have the resources and food they need to provide high quality, nutritious emergency food assistance to those who need it.
We have a lot of power in determining whether or not we are successful in achieving that vision. As a community, we can:
- Donate time and volunteer at a local food shelf.
- Donate to a local food shelf either in the form of donated food or money to help the food shelf buy food items to support working families, children, and seniors.
- Start a food drive to donate to a local food shelf.
- Spread awareness and post your efforts on Facebook.
If you would like to check out the food shelf at Connections Store and More, it is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am – 3pm and the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10am – 2pm. There is a monthly income limit. For example, one person cannot exceed a monthly income of $1,859. Two people cannot exceed a monthly income of $2,504, three people cannot exceed $3,148 and so forth.
They also offer two food distributions each month: the 1st Thursday of the month is given by the Webster and Siren Lions, Siren Lioness and Webb Lake Community Club and the 3rd Thursday of the month is given by Yellow Lake Distribution. Anyone from any community is welcome to come and there is no income limit.
Another way to get food is through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through Wisconsin, which is also income based. If you would like to learn more about SNAP, please visit the Connection Store and More. They are more than happy to answer any and all of your questions or refer you to the agency that can help.
We all share the value that every child, every senior, and every adult who is dealing with tough times should have access to a safe, consistent, adequate source of healthy and nutritious meals to have the energy to learn, be healthy and work. It will take everyone, working together, to solve hunger, so start playing your role today and help us end hunger in Wisconsin.
Submitted by: Josie Penberthy, Community Service Specialist
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