MENASHA, Wis. - NBC26 has partnered with Festival Foods for their Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger programs. On Wednesday, we collected donations at the Festival Foods in Menasha to benefit the St. Joseph Food Program and the Fox Valley Humane Association.
It was a day long mission to fill a van to the roof. From a simple can of food to bottles of water, even the small donations will make a big difference. Just ask Patricia Bangart who's had to rely on a food pantry during rough times.
"I felt loved. I felt not forgotten," she explained.
Bangart is thankful for the safety net that caught her, so she paid it forward by donating to the food drive.
"It's in the heart. I just feel good. I'm sorry that they're hurting so bad."
The non-perishable items will be taken to the St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha. The pantry serves 750 low income families a week.
"We're spending $150,000 to $200,000 a year on just milk alone, so I mean donations are a big thing," said pantry volunteer Fred Steenis.
The donations are important to the Fox Valley Humane Association as well.
"Without donations, we'd have to probably close our doors," said Dawn Yohr, a volunteer at the animal shelter.
The pet food donations collected during the drive will help feed the 5,000 animals the shelter cares for every year. Both non-profit organizations are thanking Festival Foods for their support.
"That they're putting themselves out there and doing this for the community is great," Yohr said.
It's a community service the grocery store chain takes pride in.
"It just puts a smile on your face every day you come to work, so it's great," said Mike Retelle, Assistant Store Director at the Menasha Festival Foods.