GREENVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) A growing number of Americans in rural areas are going hungry as this pandemic persists and one local organization is helping out.
Steve Guyette, Ruby’s food pantry volunteer says, “People are here sometimes at 5:30 or 6 o’clock in the morning waiting to get in line to get their food.”
Even before the sun cracked the early morning sky, some of Wisconsin’s hungry were already lined up at Ruth’s food pantry.
Julie Netzel, Ruby’s food pantry Wisconsin coordinator says, “When guests come through here, they’re going to get two laundry baskets full of food. It’s a lot of food.”
Thanks to Ruby’s pantry volunteers, 400 families in the often overlooked areas of Wisconsin won’t go hungry.
Netzel says, “That’s what they were honed in on, in the rural communities because they are often forgotten. So that’s why it’s perfect for us in Greenville because we are on the outskirts of Appleton- But yet they still need help too.”
Most families stop by because of the pandemic and those at Ruby’s pantry say food insecurities have nearly doubled since 2020.
Netzel says, “Absolutely it has. The grocery budget is the first thing to be decreased and all of our numbers have increased from last year. In fact, right here in Greenville, we run out every single month, so which is very sad.”
Guyette says, “We’ve had people in tears thanking us for doing all of this work and that just really means a lot to us.”
Volunteers say being able to help those in need keeps the heart warm when it cold out.
Guyette says, “We just realize how blessed we really are and it’s just a way for us to give back. Just the fact that we’re making an immediate impact on the community and just having the interaction with the people.”
Netzel says, “There is a need and we need to fill it so we’re trying.”
Because hunger has increased in the Fox Cities, Ruby’s food pantry is opening another site located in Oshkosh in April and plans to open another site in Appleton.