August 31, 2017
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
BRILLION – Brillion has had a food pantry for a lot longer than people realize. It started in the basement of Holy Family Church’s old location on Custer Street in 1966. A small group of church members started it out of their own pockets and left it open so people could walk in at anytime.
“We just had a few pieces of food for people and they could come and help themselves,” Joe Gilsdorf said.
When a new storage area was built for the church’s equipment at their location on W. Ryan Street, the food pantry was able to move into the storage area’s addition. Now it’s a stark contrast to the origins of 1966. They’re still helping, but in a much more organized way.
The pantry is open the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 10:30 a.m. It is open around one hour, but usually goes longer. Each time they’re open they serve between 20 and 30 families. Members of the pantry will make special trips for families who can’t make it when they’re open.
“Our donations are local,” Jerry Vondrachek said. “It’s the whole area and then that’s where we kind of serve – in the same areas that the donations are coming from.” The surrounding areas where donations come from include Forest Junction and Reedsville.
Area boy scouts and mail carriers chip in. The Brillion Fire Department also holds a fundraiser each year. Other parishes from around the area also help out with their food collections.
A lot of businesses and private citizens make contributions that are done in quiet.
The group also purchases meat, eggs, cheese and fruits and vegetables from Econofoods, Kwik Trip and Roehrborn Meats. The bags of food that citizens leave with include all of the food groups, and unlike some other pantries, they have a lot of choice in what they want. The pantry gives turkeys around Thanksgiving and hams around Christmas.
“People that come here are very thankful,” Vondrachek said.
Please see the complete story in the August 31, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.