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'Food for Neighbors' program supplies local pantries during holiday season

Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 10:09:38-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC26) -- In the time of Covid-19 and financial hardship, local food pantries might be the only way for families to find a turkey this Thanksgiving.

"Serving 130 [families] to this week, with Thanksgiving coming up, we're approaching 200 households in a day," Paul's Pantry Executive Director Craig Robbins said.

So once again, NBC26 has partnered with Festival Foods in the 'Food for Neighbors' program. We hope to help stock 40 pantries in dire need of meals during the holidays. Paul's Pantry in Green Bay is one of them.

"Some items because of Covid, you know… there's limits now," Robbins said.

Robbins believes this effort is as important as ever.

"You [pantries] wanna have enough on hand to meet the needs, so Festival Foods is kind of our partner behind the scenes," he said.

Getting involved is simple. When you go to the register at Festival Foods, grab either a five or ten-dollar donation card and hand it to the cashier when you check out.

"Really the community are the ones that come out and help support this program," Appleton Northland Festival Foods Assistant Store Director Josh Verstegen said.

Without the generosity of donors and the 'Food for Neighbors' program Robbins believes his pantry would suffer during the holidays.

"Food, funds and volunteers -- so it's like a three-legged stool," Robbins said. " If one of those legs were to go missing, the thing would tip over."

Contributing nearly $165,000 last year across Wisconsin, the 'Food for Neighbors' program is a part of what's keeping pantries stocked with turkey.

"Our [pantry] logo is 'Neighbors Feeding Neighbors' ... and 'Food for Neighbors' is a big part of that," Robbins said.

There are a few ways to donate to the 'Food for Neighbors' program.

You can pick up a donation card at the cash register when you check out at any festival foods. You can also contribute on the festival foods website when purchasing items online.

If you would like to learn more about getting involved with food assistance facilities like Paul's Pantry, visit it's website.