The John Coughlin Food & Resource Center News

The John Coughlin Food & Resource Center

Local Senior Residents Receive Valentine's Fruit Baskets

Fruit baskets

A total of 105 seniors in Polk County, 120 seniors in St. Croix County and 65 seniors in Pierce County received fruit baskets this year for Valentine's Day, courtesy of United Way St. Croix Valley in memory of former Board member Susan Obermueller by her family and friends.

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New Name, New Initiatives for United Way Food Center

Meredith BergUnited Way St. Croix Valley has announced new initiatives and a new name for its Food Resource Center. A celebration was held Jan. 26 at the center, where the new name, The John Coughlin Food & Resource Center, was unveiled along with a new logo.

The center is named after the late John Coughlin, who served as Executive Director of United Way St. Croix Valley for more than 20 years and first opened the center in 2008. The JCFRC has distributed nearly 1.1 million pounds of food and personal care items to 13 food pantries, a homeless shelter and a domestic abuse shelter in Pierce and St. Croix Counties since opening, and there are plans for new initiatives.

Two of the new initiatives include a partnership with Healthier Together - Pierce and St. Croix Counties and a backpack program. So far, the backpack program has provided more than 400 backpacks filled with healthy food for children in Pierce and St. Croix Counties to take home on the weekends. United Way’s Food & Resource Center Coordinator Michelle Alters has joined the Healthier Together Overweight/Obesity Action Team, where she will work with representatives from health care, public health, education and other fields to reduce obesity in the two counties.

“I am excited to see all the great work being done in our community and the new direction that the JCFRC is going,” said Alters. “There is lots of exciting work to be done in 2017 to ensure that we are getting healthy food into the hands of those in need,” she continued.

The JCFRC also presented its first annual Les Berg Volunteer Award during the renaming event, which was awarded to Meredith Berg. The Bergs worked with Coughlin in the initial planning and fundraising stages of the center and helped launch the We Do Feet program that shares the building with the JCFRC.

United Way St. Croix Valley serves residents of Polk, Pierce and St. Croix counties. The annual campaign provides funding for more than 60 nonprofit agency programs and United Way initiatives including the John Coughlin Food & Resource Center and Family Friendly Workplace. The mission of United Way St. Croix Valley is to unite communities, focus resources and inspire people to measurably improve lives in Western Wisconsin. For more information, contact Ann Searles at 715-377-0203 ext. 102 or ann@unitedwaystcroix.org.

Pictured: Recipient of the first annual Les Berg Volunteer Award Meredith Berg

View more photos.

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Bowls for Hope to Benefit United Way Food Initiative

The Bowls for Hope event to be held Tuesday, March 7 by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has chosen The Hunger Prevention Council's Moolah for Milk program as beneficiary this year. United Way St. Croix Valley's John Coughlin Food & Resource Center is part of the program, and will use funds raised to purchase milk for St. Croix and Pierce County food pantries.

Click here for the flyer with details.

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#GivingTuesday Raises Funds for 7,676 Meals

Thank you

Thank you for the support on #GivingTuesday. We raised $1,000, and combined with the match the total is $2,000--which means we reached our goal of sponsoring one month's shipment of food, or 7,676 meals, for the Food Resource Center. Thank you.

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Hudson Kiwanis and US Army Career Center Hold Food Drive for Food Resource Center

Kiwanis check presentation

Thank you to the Hudson Kiwanis Club and US Army Career Center of Hudson for holding their non-perishable food drive at County Market to benefit our Food Resource Center. A total of 664 pounds were donated, and the Kiwanis also donated $475. We are so thankful.

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Xcel Energy Supports New Food Resource Center Backpack Program

Xcel Energy check presentation

Xcel Energy is expanding its support of United Way St. Croix Valley’s Food Resource Center (FRC) by donating and volunteering with the FRC’s brand new backpack program. Xcel Energy employees recently packed 125 backpacks full of food for children to be distributed to the 14 food pantries and shelters who come to pick up food once per month at the FRC. In addition, Xcel Energy donated $2,000 to provide the food and backpacks that were packed.

“We are grateful for the support of Xcel Energy and their commitment to children who are hungry in our community,” said Executive Director Ann Searles. “This will be a great help in the launch of our new backpack program.”

Since opening in February 2008, the FRC has distributed 1,048,217 pounds of food to 14 food pantries and shelters in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties, the equivalent of 806,078 meals.

If your business would like to sponsor a backpack food packing event, please contact Michelle Alters, Food Resource Center Coordinator, at 715-377-0203 ext. 105 or michelle@unitedwaystcroix.org.

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First National Bank of River Falls Continues Food Resource Center Volunteer Support

First National Bank of River Falls volunteers

United Way St. Croix Valley is grateful for First National Bank of River Falls' continued volunteer support of the Food Resource Center. Volunteers from the bank come to the FRC each month to assist with pantry pickups. Pictured left to right are Deb Volkert, Kaydi Sobottka, Chad Steger, Danette Olson and United Way's Carol Sarafin.

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First National Bank of River Falls Volunteers, Sponsors Food Shipment

First National Bank of River Falls check presentation

First National Bank of River Falls generously donated $2,500 towards a United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center (FRC) shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. Volunteers from the bank also come to the FRC each month to assist with pantry pickups.

Pictured left to right are Lois Jenkins, Kaydi Sobottka, United Way's Ann Searles and Carol Sarafin, Chad Edwards and Richard Smith.

Since opening February of 2008, the FRC has distributed more than 1,025,900 pounds of food and other products to area pantries, shelters and meal programs in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties. That is the equivalent of 789,154 meals for the hungry. United Way is thankful for First National Bank of River Falls' continued support. If your company is interested in donating volunteer hours to help organize the FRC food distribution and/or make a financial donation so we can continue to provide healthy food to fill the gap for the food shelves who serve those in need in our communities, please contact Executive Director Ann Searles at ann@unitedwaystcroix.org or 715-377-0203 ext. 102.

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Anonymous Donor Sponsors March Food Resource Center Shipment

An anonymous donor sponsored the March United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. The donor is a Platinum sponsor. United Way is thankful for the support.

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Green Bay Packers Foundation Sponsors February Food Resource Center Shipment

Green Bay Packers Foundation

The Green Bay Packers Foundation sponsored the February United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. The Foundation is a Platinum sponsor. United Way is thankful for the support.

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Food Resource Center Distributes One Million Pounds

One Million PoundsThe United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center has passed the one million pound distribution mark. Since opening February of 2008, the Food Resource Center has distributed more than 1,025,900 pounds of food and other products to area pantries, shelters and meal programs in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties. That is the equivalent of 789,154 meals for the hungry. The majority of the food came from our partner The Food Group (formerly The Emergency Foodshelf Network) of New Hope, Minn. Thank you so much for your help in achieving this milestone.

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Holiday Fundraisers Sponsor January Food Resource Center Shipment

Holiday Online Fundraiser

Thanks to your generous support on #GivingTuesday and throughout all of December, we have exceeded our goal of $2,500 to sponsor the January Food Resource Center shipment. We are so thankful for everyone's support.

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Holiday Online Fundraiser Raising Funds for Food Resource Center

You helped us raise $375 towards the $2,500 January Food Resource Center shipment on #GivingTuesday, and we are continuing with that goal with our Holiday Online Fundraiser, running through the end of the month. We are so thankful for all of the support! If you would like to help us get the new year off to a great start in the St. Croix Valley, click here.

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Allina Health Volunteers, Sponsors November Food Shipment

Allina presenting check to United Way

Allina Health has continued its support of United Way's Food Resource Center by volunteering and sponsoring the November 2015 food shipment at the Platinum level. United Way St. Croix Valley is thankful for the support.

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Dreadwood Haunted Forest Holding Food Drive

Dreadwood Haunted ForestDreadwood Haunted Forest in Hudson is once again holding a food drive to benefit the United Way Food Resource Center. If you bring a nonperishable food item you will receive $2 off your ticket price. Dreadwood is open every Friday and Saturday in October and is located at 835 County Road E. United Way St. Croix Valley thanks Dreadwood Haunted Forest for its support of the Food Resource Center.

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Citizens State Bank Sponsors October Food Resource Center Shipment

Citizens State Bank

Citizens State Bank of Hudson is the Silver Sponsor of the October Food Resource Center Shipment. They donated $373 and also did a food drive resulting in 120 pounds of food donated, valued at $202.80. United Way is thankful for the support.

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Hudson Rotary Club Sponsors August Food Resource Center Shipment

Sonya Jansma presenting check to John Coughlin

The Hudson Rotary Club sponsored the August United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. Hudson Rotary Club is a Silver Sponsor at $1,000. Pictured left to right are John Coughlin, United Way St. Croix Valley Executive Director and Sonya Jansma, Rotary President. United Way is thankful for the support.

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Knights of Columbus Sponsors July Food Resource Center Shipment

John Gushue presenting check to John Coughlin

Knights of Columbus sponsored the July United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. Pictured left to right are John Coughlin, United Way St. Croix Valley Executive Director and John Gushue, Grand Knight. United Way is thankful for the support.

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Xcel Energy Sponsors June Food Resource Center Shipment

Brian Elwood presenting check to John Coughlin

Xcel Energy sponsored the June United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. Pictured left to right are Brian Elwood, Xcel Energy Community Service Manager and John Coughlin, United Way St. Croix Valley Executive Director. United Way is thankful for the support.

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HealthPartners Organizations Sponsor Food Resource Center Shipment

Five Loaves volunteers picking up food from FRC

HealthPartners organizations—Amery Hospital & Clinic, Hudson Hospital & Clinic, Lakeview Hospital, Stillwater Medical Group and Westfields Hospital & Clinic--sponsored the December United Way St. Croix Valley Food Resource Center (FRC) shipment benefiting 12 area pantries and two shelters. Volunteers from Five Loaves Food Shelf came to the FRC Tuesday, Dec. 2 to pick up food for the pantry. Pictured left to right are Dick Clark, United Way’s John Coughlin, Doug Soderquist and Stan Soderquist. In 2014 the FRC distributed 98,319 pounds to pantries, shelters and programs in Western Wisconsin. Five Loaves picked up more than 8,000 pounds of food from the FRC in 2014.

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Dreadwood Haunted Forest Food Drive a Success

Dreadwood Haunted Forest collected 5,529 pounds of food for the Food Resource Center during its October food drive, more than double last year's total. United Way St. Croix Valley is thankful for the support. Pictured are a few of the bins of food.

Boxes of collected food

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Allina Health Volunteers, Sponsors Food Shipment

Allina presenting check to United Way

Allina Health has continued its support of United Way's Food Resource Center by volunteering and sponsoring the November 2014 food shipment. United Way St. Croix Valley is thankful for the support. Pictured left to right: River Falls Area Hospital's Tracy Dierks, Erin Jennings, Cliff Jennings, Heather Logelin and United Way's John Coughlin.

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E.P. Rock Summer Program Raises Money for Food Resource Center

E.P. Rock raises money for FRC

E.P. Rock Elementary's summer program raised $342.08 for United Way's Food Resource Center. The group had a bake sale and sold bird houses, bird feeders and dog treats to raise the money. Michelle Hagen is the program coordinator. United Way's Carol Sarafin is pictured accepting the donation.

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