Food pantry on wheels is finally set to get rolling

Delivery program helps pantry fulfill its purpose of feeding people in need
By 
CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Saukville Food Pantry is preparing to launch a delivery program in the coming weeks that will provide food to those who are unable to travel to the pantry.

“There are some people who are either disabled or homebound so they don’t have the ability to get to a food pantry all of the time. Some of them don’t have transportation,” pantry Director Mark Gierach said.

Gierach said the pantry has considered starting a delivery program for years but has only recently found the volunteer manpower to ensure the program’s success. He had hoped to begin deliveries about two years ago but had to delay launching the program because of the pandemic.

Gierach said the pantry has already been delivering food and hygiene goods for about five people but is spreading the word about the program ahead of its official starting date of April 5. He said the pantry has distributed flyers to senior living homes and the Aging and Disability Resource Center to find individuals who would benefit from the deliveries.

“We’re in the beginning stages of getting information out at this point,” Gierach said.

Those who can’t get to the pantry can arrange for services by calling (262) 689-8591 or emailing saukvillepantry@gmail.com.

Once contacted, a pantry volunteer will go to the individual’s residency to meet with them and fill out a food request form. Individuals may indicate their preferences and schedule a delivery date. Food deliveries are being conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

On the chosen date, a volunteer will deliver the food order between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., then drop off another food request form for the next order.

“Every time we drop off a delivery they’ll be turning in a sheet for the next one,” Gierach said.

Gierach said after the first delivery, a volunteer will meet with the recipient to discuss their transportation options and determine if they are truly in need of the service. He said some individuals may have access to a shared taxi ride without knowing of the service or are capable of visiting the shelter on their own.

“That’s part of the initial interview we go through with them,” he said.

Gierach said the interview is a way to ensure that those who truly need the service have access to it.

Currently the pantry has five volunteers making deliveries. Gierach said more are needed.

While the delivery program is still taking off, Gierach said it is an exciting development for the pantry, one that helps the organization achieve its ultimate goal of getting food to people who need it.

The Saukville Food Pantry has reported an increased need for its services in recent years. The pantry serves 400 to 425 families each month and offers programs such as community meals, backpack Fridays, the mobile food pantry, holiday boxes and a back-to-school fair.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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