FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – With more than 300,000 jobless claims filed this month in Wisconsin, more people are turning to food pantries.
The Holyland Food Pantry serves people in the rural parts of Fond du Lac and Calumet counties.
In February, WFRV Local 5 honored organizer Lori Schmitz as a ‘Remarkable Woman‘.
WFRV Local 5 caught up with Lori to talk about how the pantry is managing during this health crisis.
Lori has been paying it back for the past five years as a Holyland Food Pantry volunteer.
On most days, you can find Lori buried in boxes and bags of food for those in need– and during this health crisis, the need for bags filled with food keeps growing.
Lori says, “Clients need us to provide meat and dairy products. Some clients have had some challenges getting dairy products. Clients also request fresh veggies, bread, and toilet paper.”
Lori says she’s not surprised that in these agriculturally-driven community, people are hungry but don’t always ask for food.
Lori says, “Families don’t typically tell people that they’re in trouble, because of their work ethic and the deep rural pride and privacy. We really want people to not feel bad asking for help.”
Rural areas are typically hit hardest during a crisis because of lack of resources and Lorie says need has grown at the Holyland food pantry.
Lori says, “We’re preparing boxes for 45 households this month, but 45 households equal about 150 people. We expect we’ll see more this month.”
Local school districts provide some weekday meals for kids, but parents come to Holyland pantry to fill in the gaps.
Lori says, “they’re making every effort to give lunch and breakfast to the kids during their five days but we’ve got weekends.”
Monetary donations to the pantry can be written to and sent to Holyland Food Pantry, Box 62, Malone, WI 53049, indicate “Food Pantry” in the memo area of the check.