October 2016 Update
Since opening February of 2008, The John Coughlin Food & Resource Center has distributed more than 1,032,095 pounds of food and other products to 13 area pantries, a homeless shelter and a domestic abuse shelter in Pierce and St. Croix Counties. That is the equivalent of 793,919 meals for the hungry. The majority of the food came from our partner The Food Group (formerly The Emergency Foodshelf Network).
|Thank You to the 2016 Platinum and Gold Sponsors|
Why a Food & Resource Center? The Need
United Way St. Croix Valley works to identify and address the most pressing human needs for the people of Western Wisconsin. Food is arguably the most basic need for families and individuals in our community.
The 13 food pantries serving Pierce and St. Croix Counties have limited space to store necessary food and often the shelves empty out before the need is served. Most often there is no place to store perishable food.
Families and seniors in our communities often face the tough choice between buying food, paying rent or buying prescription medicines. And the number of families struggling to meet their basic needs is increasing every week.
And who are these individuals? They are our neighbors:
- Low income working parents trying to make ends meet
- Children who need good nutrition for healthy development
- Seniors on fixed incomes
For more information on the need for food in Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin Food Security Project or UW Extension's food insecurity reports for St. Croix and Pierce Counties. You can also view reports for other counties in the state.
If you are looking for resources on nutrition or food pantries in the area, visit our Community Food Resources page.
The John Coughlin Food & Resource Center
Pantries and Shelters We Support
United Way St. Croix Valley has built the JCFRC to store food and commodities for redistribution to food pantries, our homeless shelter, the domestic abuse shelter and other food programs. The industrial-sized freezer and cooler enable pantries to have a steady supply of perishable food. Pantry volunteers pick up perishables at designated times for redistribution to residents of Western Wisconsin.
The building has a significant amount of open area used for Trinity Lutheran Church’s “We Do Feet” ministry. The focus of this program is to help the needy by collecting, repairing and donating used furniture, beds and other household items. The space could also be used a distribution site for emergency supplies in case of a community crisis.
The Food Group Partnership
The JCFRC is a drop site for large deliveries of food from The Food Group. It can be safely stored until redistribution to the pantries.
The Food Group is a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to hunger relief organizations. There is no membership fee to hunger relief organizations to join the network.
The Food Group gives its network a variety of financial and food benefits and savings and does not make a profit or margin off of any food that it distributes. Member agencies receive monthly shipments of free food and the opportunity to purchase high demand and culturally specific items at below retail prices. The Food Group was created in 1976 to help food shelves pool their resources and receive quantities of food equal to their demand. Before The Food Group was formed, it was not uncommon for one food shelf to experience an excess of resources while a neighboring shelf turned clients away due to lack of food or money.
Trinity Lutheran Church Partnership
United Way had the opportunity to build the JCFRC because of a unique partnership with Trinity Lutheran Church. Trinity is leasing United Way the land for the building for $1 per year – making this important distribution center possible at a greatly reduced cost.
United Way St. Croix Valley already has a strong partnership with nonprofit agencies working to address basic human needs – shelters, meal programs, emergency assistance and food pantries. Trinity’s furniture ministry is part of that safety net. The JCFRC has taken these critical community programs to a whole new level of service.
St. Croix Valley Foundation Match
The St. Croix Valley Foundation pledged $50,000 to match, dollar for dollar, all gifts and grants for a Permanent Fund to support the JCFRC’s ongoing operations. Generous donors helped United Way qualify for the full match.
A portion of the interest earned on this Long-term Fund is now available to the JCFRC annually to help support the operational and maintenance costs of the facility.