Ruby’s Pantries continue meeting increased demand during pandemic

Published: Oct. 3, 2020 at 4:46 PM CDT
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GREENVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - The state of the pandemic has been fluid, with things sometimes changing from day to day. One thing that hasn’t changed is the increased need for food pantries.

“There’s so many families that never would’ve thought they would’ve been in this position and they are,” said Julie Netzel, Supervisor of Ruby’s Pantry in Wisconsin.

Like most food pantries, Ruby’s Pantry locations are now using less volunteers and a drive-thru distribution system to help meet the increased demand the pandemic has created while maintaining health safety.

“There’s a lot of people out there who need it. The nice thing about Ruby’s is if you eat, you qualify,” said Netzel. "So we don’t have limitations on who can come and who can’t.”

Netzel says there are 32 Wisconsin Ruby Pantry monthly distribution sites, and she directly oversees Greenville’s site.

About 350 families have been coming to the Greenville location during the pandemic, with the organization serving about 13,000 families each month statewide.

But maintaining enough food donations to keep up supplies has been challenging at times.

“We kind of went through waves in this pandemic of seeing shortages of this, shortages of that. But we have a super crew that gets everything there and gets what we need to have,” said Netzel. “So we’ve had to step up our game of calling out places and reaching out to other corporations.”

That though has been a blessing in disguise to Netzel.

“That has allowed us to have more partnerships than we’ve ever had before,” said Netzel.

Even with some not knowing what their circumstances will be from day to day during the pandemic, Netzel says Ruby’s Pantry will continue to be a constant for those who need them.

“We just figure out a way to make it work because we know this is where the need is, this is where we need to be,” said Netzel. “We’re a faith-based mission so God has given this to us and we accept the challenge, and he’ll do it with us.”

Learn how to help, or find a distribution site near you, by visiting the Ruby’s Pantry website.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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