Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (May 22, 2020) – The Door County Meals Cooperative (www.DoorCountyMeals.org) announced today that the final night of the free community dinner program will be Friday, May 29. To ensure that struggling people still have access to healthy food, 8 food pantries in Door County, along with the Door County Community Foundation and United Way of Door County, have created the new Door County Food Pantry Coalition. You can learn more at www.FeedDoorCounty.org.
Under the leadership of the Boys and Girls Club of Door County, the Door County YMCA, the Door County Fire Chiefs Association, the Door County Medical Center, United Way of Door County, the Door County Community Foundation, and countless other partners, the Door County Meals Cooperative began distributing free dinners in mid-March to anyone in the community who needed a little help during the Safer-at-Home order. Very quickly the program grew to providing about 750 free dinners every day to people of all ages. The dinners were distributed at five pick-up sites in Door County and 1 in Kewaunee County. All dinners are being produced in the kitchen of the Boys and Girls Club.
With the end of the school year, the Boys and Girls Club kitchen must switch over their facility to providing almost 800 meals a day for the YMCA children’s summer lunch program. As a result, the free community dinners need to come to an end.
To ensure that struggling people aren’t left behind, the Washington Island Community Health Program, Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church, Sister Bay First Baptist Church, Door of Life, Stella Maris Catholic Church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Feed and Clothe My People, Lakeshore CAP, and Holy Name Catholic Church, have joined with the Door County Community Foundation and United Way of Door County to create the Door County Food Pantry Coalition. It’s Door County’s coordinated, sustainable response to providing food and other supplies to people who are struggling during the global pandemic and economic recession.
Contributions to the Meals Cooperative that have not already been budgeted or spent will be transferred to the Door County Food Pantry Coalition so that those dollars can continue to feed people of all ages who continue to struggle during the current health crisis.
It should be noted that the Door County Food Pantry Coalition is NOT paid for by the government. The Food Pantry Coalition is able to help because of the generous donations of the year ‘round and seasonal residents of Door County. As a result, there is no qualification process to access the partnering food pantries during this health crisis. If someone is having a hard time making ends meet, the members of the Food Pantry Coalition want to extend a helping hand.
All the member food pantries have also committed to several safety precautions to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Everyone offers “contactless” pick-up. They also ask that clients practice social distancing and wear a mask when visiting a pantry. Further, all pantries have agreed to quarantine donated food items for at least 72 hours before distributing them to the public.
While everyone is working together through the Coalition, each food pantry operates in a different way. Some pantries are only able to provide non-perishable items, while others can offer refrigerated and frozen foods. A few pantries also make toiletries and other household supplies available. In some cases, the pantries allow clients to come into their facility to pick out what they need, while others prepack food based on family size and then bring it outside to the client.
The community is invited to visit www.FeedDoorCounty.org to look through the list of the pantries below to understand what each one offers and how they operate. Then people can decide which one is best suited to help them during their time of need.
The Food Pantry Coalition welcomes donations of all kinds but asks the community to first consider making a monetary contribution. Often the pantries can purchase food at a cost far below what a donor would pay for the same item at the grocery store. Monetary gifts also allow the pantries to buy refrigerated and frozen food items that are not easily donated.
Please go to www.FeedDoorCounty.org to make a donation online today, or mail your gift to: Door County Food Pantry Coalition, Door County Community Foundation, 222 N. 3rd Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
All monetary contributions will be shared by the food pantries based on where the need is greatest in Door County at any given time. For those that still would like to donate food items, please contact the food pantry closest to them.
Any money not needed by the food pantries will be transferred to the Door County Emergency Response Fund to provide other relief and assistance to Door County residents struggling during this crisis.
The Door County Meals Cooperative, the Door County Food Pantry Coalition, and the Door County Emergency Response Fund are all funds of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc.
For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.
The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. The Community Foundation was launched in 1999, currently administers more than $26 million in assets, and distributes nearly $2 million to charities in Door County every year.