New Community Shelter sees surge in meal demand

By Terry Kovarik |

Published 06/30 2014 08:36PM

Updated 06/30 2014 11:14PM

GREEN BAY (WFRV) Members of the Green Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Fellowship prepare three community meals yearly in New Community Shelter's kitchen. Julie Lennon has long seen a need for such meals.

"Back in 2002, we were serving roughly 50 clients. And now today I'm told to expect to feed 250," said Julie Lennon, a long time volunteer.

The shelter's executive director says that need has really grown this summer.

"We are ten-thousand meals ahead of where we were at this time last year," said Terry Refsguard, New Community Shelter Executive Director.

Refsguard says the community meals are not just filling a gap for the homeless, but working families and more.

"The elderly who may have three-hundred dollar costs a week for medications. They may have to make the decision is it food or medications," she said.

The New Community Shelter certainly has benefited from donations of fresh produce. That's in addition to what they can grow right here on shelter property. So far, they've been able to keep up with the surge in demand. But they also need donations of key staples and incidentals to help their guests and the community groups that serve them.

"Sugar. Sugar is something that is always in short supply that we need. Coffee is always in short supply," Refsguard said.

Simple things that shelter volunteers say clients are grateful for.

"When I do get the chance to serve as well as cook, the "thank-yous" are really from the heart. Very much so," said Janice Galt, a volunteer cook with the Green Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.

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