St. Joseph Food Program will soon start new distribution method

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 4:55 PM CST
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MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - The St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha has been busy over the last year. It’s currently serving 400 to 500 families a week through a curbside method for increased safety.

“I think that once some of the government safety nets kind of disappear that they’ve been putting in place we’re going to be seeing a lot more folks,” said Executive Director Monica Clare. “We expect that this is going to be a long-term thing. It’s not going to be a rush. Even once the vaccine is out and all of that happens, there’s going to be a lot of recovery that needs to happen.”

Changing demand is already being seen in St. Joseph’s Backpack Food Assistance Program, which supplies students with food in six school districts.

“At the beginning of the school year it was just a few hundred. I think about a month or so ago, when I asked, we were at 600 or something backpacks every weekend. Now we are at 941,” said Clare. “You know, the kids have gone back to school and now that need is back and so we’re filling that.”

But with all the adjustments that have been made in the last year, Clare believes their next switch up is going to be a game changer.

St. Joseph is developing a whole new distribution method using drive-thru windows.

“So people will be able to sign up from their car on the west side of the building and come around the corner and stop at a window and have their food distributed to them right out the window,” said Clare.

It will allow volunteers to stay inside while adding efficiency and keeping things convenient for clients.

“We don’t know what the future will bring, but one way or the other we’ll have a safe way to distribute from within the building and I think it will just be a model that others may want to look to, to use as well,” said Clare.

Clare says the new system, and their ability to keep up with demand, is all thanks to community support.

“I can’t begin to say how grateful I am for the support that we’ve seen,” said Clare. “I think that just shows what a wonderful community that we live in and how generous everybody is. They all want to support their neighbors which says so much about the people who live here in the Fox Valley.”

The drive-thru system will start March 15.

To keep up with the St. Joseph Food Program people can follow its Facebook page.

To donate, head to its website.

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