MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) — The St. Joseph Food Program serves about 650 area families weekly, giving out over three million pounds off food last year.

This year, they are finding themselves low on essentials.

“As I go through our warehouse, it’s getting to the bare bones,” Operations Manager Scott Schefe said. “Right now, we’re kind of low on pasta sauces, canned chicken, canned tuna.”

Those non-perishables are commonly donated in food drives like the Bay-Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America Scouting for Food drive.

“The Scouting for Food food drive is one of our two biggest food drives in the year,” Executive Director Monica Clare said. “Over the last three years, we’ve averaged about 12,000 pounds each year for that food drive.”

Scouting for Food traditionally took place in October.

“This is about the time where, all right, this drive is really going to fill us back up and get us to where we need to be to get us through for the rest of the year,” Schefe said.

But St. Joseph’s and food pantries across the area will have to wait until April for that influx of food from the scouts.

“Fall is such a busy time of year between school and Scouts really ramping up,” Kristin Ely-Bluemke, Development Director for the Bay-Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America explained. “They [parents] felt that they couldn’t really participate as fully as they wanted to.”

Organizers hope the new time frame will help take care of families in need over the summer.

“They don’t have day-to-day access to the free and reduced lunch programs so it’s really important that we continue to support those food banks and that people have access to food,” Ely-Bluemke said. “Especially during those summer months.”

Until then, pantries like St. Joseph’s are working to figure out how to get by.

“We are going to make sure that we’re going to get clients the food that they need,” Schefe said. “It’s just going to be a little bit more of a game and a little bit of a challenge of how we’re going to get those items in here.”

St. Joseph’s Food Program is asking for donations of cash and non-perishable food items.

To make a monetary donation online, click here.

Non-Perishable food items needed include:

  • Canned tuna and chicken
  • Low sugar cereal, oatmeal packets, cream of wheat
  • Peanut Butter/Jam
  • Low sugar canned fruit
  • Pasta/Sauce
  • Crackers
  • Meal mix
  • Mac N’ Cheese
  • Rice

For more information on donating food items, click here.

For more information on how to organize a food drive for St. Joseph’s, click here.

For more information on the 2020 Scouting for Food drive, click here.