MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) — Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Salvation Army of Manitowoc’s food pantry has had to make adjustments.
“Our food pantry offers services to clients by appointment,” Lisa Stricklin, Program & Outreach Director for the Salvation Army of Manitowoc County explained, “Monday through Wednesday. We’ve gone to that model with the pandemic. Prior to that, we were a choice food pantry.”
A lot has changed at the pantry with the pandemic.
“Prior to COVID, we were feeding close to 500 families a month,” Stricklin said. “So that’s families, that’s not individual people.”
That number decreased with the pandemic, with stimulus checks and other programs providing aid to would-be clients.
“We are anticipating that as those things end or become more limited, that numbers will increase again,” Stricklin said.
The pandemic has caused the Salvation Army to add programs like the Mobile Food Pantry.
Mary Ellen Beebe, a volunteer with the Manitowoc Salvation Army since 2006 explained the mobile pantry, “We go to different low-income senior complexes and distribute food there, and everyone’s been very grateful.”
The organization is always in need of donations for the mobile pantry, and their traditional pantry.
“We never get jelly from, jams or jelly from governmental agencies, so we always push that,” Stricklin said. “Pasta sauces, you know, we get some staple canned pasta sauce, but a variety of those.”
They’re also always looking for nonperishables to add to their Blessing Box, which anyone can take items from at any time.
“For that, we like things with pop-tops that folks who maybe are homeless don’t need a can opener or things that we kind of take for granted having in our homes,” Stricklin explained.
Volunteers are also a constant need.
“You don’t need to do a huge time commitment, just a couple hours now and then are wonderful, just wonderful,” Beebe said.
At the Salvation Army, donations of food, money, or time all go toward helping members of the community.
“Food is something we all need,” Stricklin said. “And if they don’t have it, then kids go hungry.”
On Thursday, June 17, Local 5 and the Salvation Army of Manitowoc are partnering together for part of the Founder’s Day: WFRV Food Drive – Give Where You Live. This food drive will take place at the Festival Foods in Manitowoc from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. So clean out those pantries and give back to those in need.