Stepping Up: A healthy community
Stepping Up

Stepping Up: A healthy community

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Health Dunn Right is a coalition of community leaders working to address local health issues. The group includes representatives from the Dunn County Health Department, Dunn County Extension, Mayo Clinic Health System, UW-Stout, the Community Foundation, and many other organizations. During a recent conference, those attending were invited to write brief thank you notes to community organizations that they feel are making a positive difference in the health of Dunn County residents. Stepping Stones was pleased to receive some of these notes.

Several were about our weekend kids’ meal program, Project SAM (Share A Meal) which provides bags of ready to eat and easy to prepare food to children at risk of hunger when school meals are not available. Over 400 Dunn County children and youth, from Head Start through high school, receive bags each weekend during the school year. Conference participants wrote:

“Thank you so much for all you do for children in Menomonie.”

“Thank you for supporting children to keep them from being hungry!”

“Thank you for Project SAM! Your work and passion make the community a happier, healthier place!”

Other notes were addressed to the food pantry:

“Thank you so much for your work with food access in our community. Your efforts are not unseen and are so valued in Menomonie.”

“Thank you for all your efforts to feed those in need in the Menomonie area. I have supported your efforts and love knowing $1 = $10 of food for you when helping those in need.” (Stepping Stones gets ten times the amount of food per dollar through the Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire than if we had to purchase food at retail prices for distribution through the pantry and its programs.)

“Thank you for all your work helping support vulnerable members of our community. Too many people lack resources and you help provide them. I recommend your organization to food insecure Stout students—a growing problem.”

“Thank you for lovingly feeding our community and others in need. Your efforts to address food shortage are deeply appreciated. You are a shining light in Menomonie and you impact lives in such positive ways.”

A few additional notes were about the overall work of Stepping Stones:

“Please know you are so appreciated in our community! Your programs help so many who do not have resources.”

“Thank you for all you do to help the elderly so they can stay in their homes longer.”

“Thank you for all you do for our community. You provide wonderful services for all of us.”

Last but not least is one that really hit home: “Thank you to all of the volunteers at Stepping Stones!”

We could only provide a small fraction of the services we do without the hundreds of volunteers who help accomplish Stepping Stones’ mission to strengthen the community by providing food, shelter, and support. The thanks expressed above goes especially to them and to all the community members who support us.

To learn more about Health Dunn Right and priorities identified by the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment visit the Community Foundation website at


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