Rotary Club HungerPlus of Marathon County Fundraiser
Our goal for this month is to purchase $20 grocery/food vouchers for 120 food insecure families in the Wausau School District, as identified by District Social Workers. Our Club is matching the first $500 raised and an anonymous donor is matching the second $500 raised. Please consider a contribution.
How are the 120 families identified?
Our HungerPlus Committee collaborated with United Way Hunger Coalition who has reached out to the Wausau School District Social Workers to identify 120 of the neediest families from elementary & middle schools.
What grocery stores will be utilized?
The Hunger Coalition has a great working relationship with all local grocery stores and will utilize those stores located within the school’s boundaries, so likely grocers may be one or a combination of Lamb’s, Pick ‘n Save and/or Trigs.
What may the voucher be used for?
Groceries only. Stores have tried to limit vouchers in the past to include only meat and produce, but it is too taxing on the cashiers to police this. So, they are willing to limit the purchase of groceries only.
The History of HungerPlus-Marathon County Initiative HungerPlus-Marathon County started in December 2011 by the Rotary Club of Wausau. This initiative’s sole purpose is to support United Way of Marathon County’s Hunger Coalition, whose mission is to increase awareness, eliminate hunger and promote programs of self-sufficiency in Marathon County.
Our club typically holds quarterly "HungerPlus Events" to raise money from our members, with a club match of up to $500 per quarter. Sometimes we double up the quarterly events with a mission to raise at least $1,000 from our members to capture the $1,000 club match. Sometimes an anonymous donor will add an incentive match to boot. Each HungerPlus Event also has a theme, to target funds raised to support, for example, Holiday cooking classes, rural pantries, high school and middle school pantries, senior center food pantries, gluten free and other food sensitivities.
It may come as no surprise that our club consistently rises to the occasion…we have captured every matching incentive and have donated over $65,000 to the United Way Hunger Coalition to date. We were also responsible for securing 8,400 5 lb. bags of #2 potatoes (that’s 21 tons!) and 1,800 dozen eggs (that’s 21,600 eggs) that were distributed to every food pantry in Marathon County!
The Hunger Coalition has also leveraged our donations by partnering with UW-Extension’s FoodWIse Program to provide cooking classes for those less fortunate in our community. Past classes have included: Holiday dinner, Cook Once-Eat Twice, Cooking with Crockpots and Hot-Plates (our donations as well), Cooking For Single Seniors, Kid’s Recipes during breaks/summer, to name a few. The FoodWIse Program also provides instruction for budgeting, meal planning, how to use food pantries and stretching your food dollar
The Hunger Coalition has presented our club with their "Community Champion of Hunger" award in 2014 and 2015.
If you would like additional information or have any questions about this initiative, please contact Patrick Bradley, 715-212-4531, Patrick.Bradley236@gmail.com.