Loading

23°F

22°F

25°F

26°F

24°F

25°F

25°F

24°F

24°F

25°F

24°F

25°F
TOP STORY

Use of new mobile food pantry soars in Iron CountySubmitted: 01/27/2015
HURLEY - Cars in line wrap around block after block on the snowy streets of Hurley.

"Well, I got here at 11:15, and now I'm through the line, and it's 1:30," says Cindy Brannigan. "But it's worth it."

She calls this time of each month, the last week, "the hard time" for many families in the area. The next paycheck or Social Security check is a week away.

Sometimes, the food supply at home is almost gone.

But on the last Monday of each month, Cindy picks up food for her family and six other families at a Mobile Food Pantry in Hurley.

"Rain, show, shine, sleet--we're here," says Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank Program Director Kris Horman, whose food bank is based in Duluth. "People really appreciate it,"

When the food bank started the Mobile Food Pantry about a year ago, it served roughly 120 people in Iron County. Now, more than 250 households and 500 people benefit from the needed service.

"We saw a need in Iron County based on poverty level, needs, and access to food because it's more rural," Horman says.

At the head of the line, the car is stocked, and the family is set on food, at least for a little while; the pantry provides them the equivalent of about three bags of groceries.

While snaking through the line in their cars, people touch base with a few employees--who are dressed in silly banana costumes as a way to lighten the mood.

"It's an issue of dignity, of pride," says Joy Schelble, a nutrition educator with the Iron County UW-Extension. "No one wants to be in the situation where they have to ask for food. There are a lot of positive messages. I mean, who can frown on two ladies in a banana suit?"

For people like Cindy, that attitude is almost as important as the food she receives.

"It's all about the volunteers. They're awesome. They rock," she says.

"Lots of smiles, a little silliness, and they're on their way," says Schelble.

Hurley's mobile food pantry is one of just a few operating in northern Wisconsin. Given its popularity, the service might spread to more areas of the rural Northwoods.

Story By: Ben Meyer

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
 Print Story Print Story | Email Story Email Story



 LOCAL NEWS

CRANDON - Prosecutors think a Forest County woman protected her boyfriend after he threw the woman's young son across a room in 2013.

Jennifer Shepard is charged with three felonies for abuse, neglect, and helping a felon. Her boyfriend Brandon Brunette was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in October for throwing the boy.

Shepard was in court today. She could face another felony.

+ Read More

PELICAN LAKE - Police don't know what caused a fuel truck to crash near Pelican Lake Tuesday.

Thankfully the truck didn't spill any fuel.

The accident happened around 10 A.M. Tuesday morning on Highway 45 just north of Pelican Lake. The truck made its way over an embankment before stopping in a thick area of trees.

+ Read More

TOWN OF BREED - Wildlife experts say wolves have killed or seriously injured six dogs in Wisconsin this month.

That's double the highest number for January in recent years. Two dogs have been killed in Oconto County.

Department of Natural Resources wildlife supervisor Jeff Pritzl says the spike in incidents doesn't necessarily reflect any changes wolf population or behavior.

+ Read More

OWEN - A plane crash in central Wisconsin has killed one person and injured two others.

Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick says the victim was a passenger in a Cessna 182 that was trying to make an emergency landing on a road in the town of Hoard at about 9:15 a.m. Monday.

+ Read More
+ More Local News





 REGIONAL NEWS

MADISON - Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has taken the first formal step toward running for president. He has formed a new tax-exempt group that can facilitate paying for his activities as he seriously eyes a 2016 White House bid.

+ Read More

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker wants to cut state funding for the University of Wisconsin System by 13 percent.

At the same time he thinks campuses should have more freedom.

Walker told The Associated Press he will be proposing that future funding to the UW system be a block grant funded by sales tax revenue.

It would be adjusted annually for inflation.

+ Read More

MADISON - One of the University of Wisconsin System's toughest critics in the Legislature is blasting Gov. Scott Walker's proposal give the system more autonomy.

+ Read More

MADISON - A Republican state senator says he does not believe the state can force failing public schools to be converted into independent charter schools

+ Read More
+ More Regional News
Search: 






Click Here