DOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) – Neighbors Tomah’s Kitchen is experiencing a growth spurt at difficult times. That’s why Pantry executive director Doug Staller says donations from groups like the Tomah Community Health Foundation are so valuable.
Representatives from the philanthropic arm of Tomah Health donated $ 3,000 to the Food Pantry Oct.28.
“The first few months of the pandemic, our numbers were down, but since June things have been increasing,” said Staller. He said they currently serve 350 families every month.
Because of COVID-19, Staller said the operation was interesting. “We’ve gone to the outside kitchen, so we pack all the food in advance so we can put it in people’s cars.” Staller said they should also reroute traffic in their parking lot and add extra outdoor lighting to help eliminate personal contact.
Regarding the foundation’s support, Staller said the donation would allow the pantry to cover costs at the facility at 111 W. Veterans Street, Tomah. “This will help us to keep operating until the end of the year,” he said. “It helps pay utility bills, get gasoline into trucks, and things like that to keep our operations carrying food so we can distribute it to the community.”
Staller anticipates additional traffic as they head into winter. “People value what we do and we have to do something right if the community continues to be generous,” he said.
Foundation president Peter Reichardt said the donation fulfilled the organization’s mission. “We are seeing an increasing need in our organizational community such as the Neighbor for Neighbor Food Pantry not only from their current clients but also an increasing need from new clients, so we are very pleased that our donation will help support their endeavors.”
Reichardt said he is also pleased that businesses and local residents continue to support the foundation through donations to their fundraising events to enable assistance to groups in need.
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