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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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New Crivitz Area Food Pantry Open House Oct. 25

Issue Date: October 18, 2018

For more than 20 years the Crivitz Area Food Pantry has been helping local families keep food on their tables during less than prosperous times. Volunteers have dispensed free edibles from various sites during those years, but the Pantry never really had a home of its own until April 16 of this year, when it purchased a 7,000 square foot building at 216 South Highway 141 next to the Bellin Building in Crivitz.

After months of work the volunteers who run the Food Pantry are eager for everyone to see it. They have invited the public to an Open House on Thursday, Oct. 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tours of the newly remodeled building will be available.

The new 7,000 square foot building was purchased on April 16, 2018 with the help of big and small donors as well as fundraisers and the Stephenson National Bank who financed the building.

It features offices and expanded areas for food storage and pickup. The pantry is now able to purchase items in greater volume due to the added space for storage.

This year the food pantry received a matching fund grant from K.C. Stock Foundation, in which directors of the Foundation approved a "one to one" up to $30,000 in matching funds for the Crivitz Area Food Pantry.

Food Pantry Director Marge Banaszak said they are getting close to the $30,000 but time is getting short and they still need donations. They have only until Dec. 31 to raise enough money to get the entire $30,000 donation.The money from the matching grant will be used to help pay down the mortgage on their new building, Banaszak said. She added that the food pantry is run entirely by volunteers. There are no paid positions. All money raised throughout the year buys food and pays expenses.

One way people can help with no out of pocket expense for themselves is by test driving a vehicle at Witt Ford on Saturday, Oct. 20. Banaszak said Witt Ford has promised to donate $20 for each test drive of one of their vehicles on that day, up to a total of $6,000, and she hopes there will be a lot of folks who help out by taking a test drive.

Banaszak said without the help of big and small donors, as well as fundraising events, Stephenson National Bank financing and assistance from The Ski Hut, previous owners of the Food Pantry's new home, that home would not have become a reality, Banaszak said, and added, "We have been blessed by people that donate to the food pantry, without them we could not help those that truly need us."

Banaszak said earlier this year the Crivitz Area Food Pantry officially became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which means it has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt charitable organization. Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations may use donations to CAFP as a tax write-off. Anyone interested in donating can mail contributions to Crivitz Area Food Pantry, PO Box 398, Crivitz, WI 54114.

"The pantry could not serve the community without the awesome work of volunteers who tirelessly pick up food, unpack trucks, stock shelves and freezers, work on paperwork, grants, letters, pack boxes and haul groceries for clients. They truly make a difference," Banaszak declared.

The Crivitz Area Food Pantry has just completed its 20th year of operation. Between 2002, when they started keeping records, and April of this year, when the totals were tallied, the pantry had served over 24,362 families, providing food for 40,217 adults and 18,604 kids.

In 2010 the pantry program implemented the Back Pack Buddies Program and have since prepared 24,606 packs for kids up to fourth grade who are in the free and reduced lunch program at school. These kids also get a snack bag to take home for the weekend. Also to assist kids in 2014, the pantry decided to supply food for the school pantry and have since helped provide 32,867 meals for kids from that location.

Since 2010, when they started the Elderly Service Bag Program, Crivitz Food Pantry volunteers have prepared 381 bags of lunches. These brown grocery bags go to the homebound who are on the Meals On Wheels program. Today over 75 percent of their clients are elderly.

Banaszak said 2017 and 2018 have been very busy years. In addition to volunteers picking up food, stocking shelves and working on the bi-weekly food distributions, they coordinated a large move from 305 Hall Ave. to a temporary location at 700 Main Street until their new home was ready. Then the volunteers, many of them the same people, worked tirelessly this summer to move from the temporary quarters into the Food Pantry's permanent new home.


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