Stepping Stones gets the majority of purchased food it distributes through the Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire, where we can get ten times the amount per dollar than if we had to buy at retail costs.

Feed My People gets most of the food they distribute to places like Stepping Stones from food retailers and manufacturers.

The food is either donated to them or available at reduced cost, which makes it possible for Feed My People to distribute it to food pantries and other agencies for a fraction of the retail cost.

Feed My People partners with over 200 hunger relief programs in 14 west central Wisconsin counties. In 2018 they distributed over 7.3 million pounds of food.

We are proud that Stepping Stones distributed about half a million of those pounds, plus more from other sources!

Here in Dunn County there are 11 Feed My People partner agencies including Stepping Stones, the Bridge to Hope, Thursday’s Table, the West CAP Food Pantry in Boyceville and smaller pantries in Knapp and Elk Mound.

Feed My People does not operate its own pantry but does have some programs for distributing food directly to people at risk of hunger.

Typically, though, food banks don’t do too much ‘front-line’ hunger relief work; rather, they supply the agencies that do this— free meal sites, shelters, food pantries and pantry programs such as weekend kids’ meals, and so on.

As the only food bank in west central Wisconsin, Feed My People Food Bank provides hunger-relief programs access to millions of pounds of low-cost foods.

These cost-effective partnerships mean thousands of people are helped each month across communities in their service area.

They support their partner programs in other ways too, including:

Free food delivery

Workshops to share ideas and grow programs

Regional fundraising opportunities

Local food rescue relationships

Monitoring for food safety and best practices

Feed My People is part of the Feeding America food bank network. This network includes more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through community-based agencies.

Feeding America is the third largest U.S. charity. Learn more about Feeding America at www.feedingamerica.org.

See for yourself what a food bank is! Feed My People is having their annual Open House Thursday, April 11, 4:30-6:30 p.m., 2610 Alpine Rd., Eau Claire. Take a tour, enjoy music and refreshments and learn about how Feed My People helps Stepping Stones feed our neighbors who are food insecure.

One of Stepping Stones’ board members, Sara Carstens, Director of Community Engagement and Wellness at Mayo Clinic Health System, offers these words of encouragement to attend the open house: “I’ve toured the location a couple of times and hope others who’ve not had a chance to see the facility are able to do so; it truly is aweing what they accomplish to serve our entire northwest Wisconsin food pantry system!”

Learn more about Feed My People at www.fmpfoodbank.org.

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Katherine Dutton is the executive director of Stepping Stones of Dunn County. She can be reached at director@steppingstonesdc.org

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