Pantry’s annual program provides supplies to more than 500 students
An estimated 550 students received free school supplies at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Saukville during the congregation’s fifth annual distribution Tuesday.
“That’s a lot fewer children than we served last year,” organizer Bethel Metz said, noting an estimated 700 youngsters attended last year’s distribution.
“As much as I would love to think it’s a change in the economy, I think it was the heat. I think the heat kept a lot of people away.”
People started lining up outside the church at 11 a.m., she said, even though the doors didn’t open until 1 p.m. By that time, the temperature reached 94 degrees.
“We were taking pitchers of ice water out for the people who were waiting in line,” Metz said.
The drive, usually begins and ends with a rush of people with a lull in between, she said, but this year the crowd was steady.
The annual school supply distribution, which was run by the Saukville Community Food Pantry, had more than 1,500 notebooks, 2,000 folders, 1,000 glue sticks, 5,000-plus pencils and 300 backpacks, as well as scissors, gym shoes and other items needed by students.
“It truly is a testament to the people we serve that the items we have stretch to help everyone,” Metz said, noting people only took those items they need.
While there were still some backpacks left at the end of the day, they ran out of Post-It notes, index cards and Chlorox wipes, she said.
“Everything else was pretty well handled,” Metz said. “I try to focus on the nuts and bolts — notebooks, folders, paper and pencils.
“Today, we were able to get a lot of kids excited about going back to school, and that’s always our goal.”
Image Information: AMONG THE STUDENTS picking up school supplies at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Saukville Tuesday were Blake and Brissa Verken (top photo). Photos by Sam Arendt