Big Foot Emergency Food Pantry - 2017 Yearly Report
2016 has been an interesting year for our food pantry. After many hard years of this on going Great Recession things finally stabilized in 2015 and this year improved a little more. In 2014 we finished with a record average of 108 families a month. For 2015 we have averaged about 98 families and this year we should average about 90.
One statistic we track is the rate of new families (those that had never been to us before or not in over a year) we work with each month. Starting in the summer of 2007 we saw double-digit % increases in the numbers of families we were servicing each year. During that summer and through 2014 we were consistently averaging three new families for every twenty families each month coming to us for assistance. The last two years we have averaged about two new families out of every twenty. That turnover rate of 10%-15% means that on average we have a complete change of people coming to us every nine or ten months. Yes, the 82 year old handicapped grandmother trying to raise two grandchildren on her own will be back each month. But the typical family we see has hit a speed bump, gets things back on track, and then we just don't see them again. I call that mission accomplished. Which we could not do without the fantastic support we continue to get from so many organizations, schools, clubs, businesses, churches, and individuals. Thank you all! That includes our hard working volunteers. It’s a team and community effort you should all be proud of. We live in a very special area.
For those not familiar with us, our pantry is responsible for the towns and rural areas of Walworth, Fontana, Williams Bay, and most of Linn Township (Reek School). That covers an area of about 100 square miles. Our hours have been unchanged for well over a decade at 2:00-4:00 Friday afternoons and 9:00-11:00 Saturday mornings. We are located on Fremont street in the north wing of the Immanuel United Church of Christ right across the street from the Walworth Grade School.
We give each family a large assortment of as much fresh fruit and vegetables as they basically want. That also includes dairy products, fresh eggs, bakery, and an average of well over five pounds of frozen meat per person. Each family receives about two weeks worth of food. Over the years our cost per person for that two weeks of food has been about $5.00 per family member. That cost also includes baby supplies, hand soap, dish soap, laundry soap, diapers, and various other toiletries.
If you would like to donate food, then our only request is that you keep it simple. Items like flour, sugar, rice, cooking oil, boxed meals, canned fruit, soup, etc. Please support any food drives being held in your area. Wherever you are located, the food pantries in your area and others would appreciate whatever you could donate or do to help. Financial donations for us can be really stretched. Twenty dollars allows us to purchase well over 100 pounds of ground beef, cut up chickens, brats, roasts, hams, similar frozen meats and many other needed items. We pick them up at Feeding America in Milwaukee at prices that range between free and nineteen cents a pound.
On behalf of the many needy local families, thank you so much for all your generous support. May you all have a blessed and happy 2017.
Director, Big Foot Emergency Food Pantry
111 Fremont Street, Walworth, WI 53184