Friday, January 28, 2022


The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

'Food, Funds and Friends': WI Food Pantries Seek Holiday Support


Monday, December 6, 2021   

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Wisconsin's food charities are preparing for a possible spike in demand heading into the holiday season.

From the end of federal pandemic aid measures to ongoing supply chain disruptions, Stephanie Dorfman, executive director of Feeding Wisconsin, said organizations like hers are balancing several factors this year.

Feeding Wisconsin coordinates six regional food banks across the state, and distributed 86 million pounds of food during the 2021 fiscal year, up 75% from 2019.

"Our food banks across the state are always in need of food, funds and friends," said Dorfman.

A March 2021 report from Feeding America, Feeding Wisconsin's parent organization, predicted more than 10% of Wisconsinites, or about 606,000 people, would experience food insecurity this year. That's slightly better than the national average of nearly 13%.

As local food pantries work to address food insecurity, Nancy Renkes - executive director of the Feed my People Food Bank in Eau Claire - said these organizations typically prefer cash donations, which allow them more flexibility when stocking their shelves.

"So, it absolutely is much more beneficial to hungry people if we can have people make a financial donation versus a food donation," said Renkes, "unless it's food that would otherwise end up in the landfill."

According to its website, Feed my People distributes more than 8.3 million pounds of food annually to 14 counties in western Wisconsin.

While it isn't a major concern yet, Renkes added, supply chain disruptions have made getting food to pantries more difficult in recent weeks.

"We're feeling the impact in really just a couple of different ways," said Renkes, "and we're cautiously optimistic that it won't become a huge issue. But definitely, it's a concern."

She noted food-aid charities need continued support even past the holidays, as they predict demand will likely remain high well into the new year.

get more stories like this via email
Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)


Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …

Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …

Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …


The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

The new grants are via the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program, which also calls for $25 billion to repair roads and bridges. (Adobe Stock)


The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

Farmers and ranchers in Montana and across the nation are calling on Congress to pass the American Beef Labeling Act. Most food is required to have …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021