Food Programs

Food Share

Food Share is the standard food package offered to each family with each visit.  Each food package contains 4-5 days worth of food per person in the family, offering as much choice as possible.  Working one-on-one with a volunteer, families choose the contents of the food package consisting of non-perishable items such as canned fruit and vegetables, juice, side dishes, peanut butter, cereal, soup, pasta and tomatoes, beans, tuna, macaroni and cheese, frozen meat, hygiene items, and additional items as available.  In addition to the standard food package, families have the opportunity to choose from a large variety of fresh produce, lettuce, bread, and dairy.  More than 1500 families come to WAFER each month.

(Funded in part by the Great Rivers United Way)

Mobile Food Pantry

The Mobile Food Pantry program is a specially designed vehicle that will travel to various communities and neighborhoods throughout La Crosse County to provide food distribution closer to home.  The Mobile Food Pantry will have a similar set up to the in-house food pantry at our Causeway Blvd location and will offer canned goods, bakery items, frozen meat, dairy products, fresh produce, and hygiene items.  Clients will be able to board the vehicle to choose their foods.  Clients may either receive a food package at the food pantry or at the mobile food pantry, not both.

Regularly scheduled and consistent stopping points and schedules are being determined at this time.  Information will be made available as soon as possible.  Until then, frequently check the schedule below for the dates, times and locations the Mobile Food Pantry will be in operation around La Crosse County.

Scheduled stops to-date in November are:
November 2nd 4-6 pm
 St. Clare’s Health Mission (916 Ferry St, La Crosse)
November 8th 10am-12pm
Southside of La Crosse (2828 Huber Ct, La Crosse)
November 15th La Crosse 
Stokke Tower 10:00am-11:30am  (421 S 6th S, La Crosse)
Solberg Heights 11:30am-1:00pm  (215 S 6th S, La Crosse)
November 18th 9:00am-11:00am during the Food Fair
Behind Anytime Fitness (1500 W Cty Hwy 16, West Salem)
November 21st 10:00am-12pm
Sauber Manor  (1025 Liberty St, La Crosse)
November 28th Rockland/Bangor
Rockland Firehouse 10:00am-11:30am (200 S Commercial St, Rockland)
Dutch Creek Manor 11:45am-1:00pm (402 18th Ave, Bangor)
November 29th 10:00am-12:00pm
 Mindoro Lutheran Church (W3879 Cty Rd DE, Mindoro)

Scheduled stops in December are:
December 7th 4-6 pm
St. Clare’s Health Mission (916 Ferry St, La Crosse)
December 13th 10am-12pm
Southside of La Crosse (2828 Huber Ct, La Crosse)
December 16th 9:00am-11:00am during the Food Fair
Behind Anytime Fitness (1500 W Cty Hwy 16, West Salem)
December 19th 10:00am-12pm
Sauber Manor  (1025 Liberty St, La Crosse)
December 20th La Crosse 
Stokke Tower 10:00am-12:00pm  (421 S 6th S, La Crosse)
Solberg Heights 12:00pm-2:00pm  (215 S 6th S, La Crosse)
December 26th Rockland/Bangor
Rockland Firehouse 10:00am-11:30am (200 S Commercial St, Rockland)
Dutch Creek Manor 11:45am-1:00pm (402 18th Ave, Bangor)
December 27th 10:00am-12:00pm
Mindoro Lutheran Church (W3879 Cty Rd DE, Mindoro)

Senior Share

Older woman

Many Senior Citizens use WAFER services

Food packages are packed taking into account dietary restrictions and preferences, as much as possible, and are delivered to low-income seniors 60 and over.  WAFER staff and volunteers deliver to 15 different meal sites, senior housing units, or community halls throughout La Crosse County.  Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers and members of the Bangor/Rockland Fire Department Auxiliary graciously deliver to individuals who still live in their own home.  About 200 seniors participate in Senior Share, preferring this service to standing in line and carrying their groceries home.  This program, which was implemented in 2009, seeks to reduce the barriers that some seniors struggle with just to secure such a basic need; transportation and physical limitations.

(Funded in part by a Community Development Block Grant thru the City of La Crosse and the Great Rivers United Way)

Click the link below to download the application.  Return completed form to WAFER.

Senior Share Application

Feeding Today’s Youth

Kids loading supplies to support WAFER

Students unloading supplies to support WAFER

In 2010, the first program for school age children was implemented through grant funds at area Boys and Girls Clubs.   The children who participate in the program typically arrive at the club after school, staying until closing.  Children are offered a hearty after-school snack which is often times the only evening nourishment the children receive.  Since the program began, club staff has reported positive changes in the children’s behavior and increased interest in their own nutrition.

In the spring of 2013, another program was added in the Bangor School District.  School staff identify children who seem to have insufficient meals on the weekend and supply them with a package of food.  The package contains a variety of easy to prepare complete meals, snacks, breakfast, fruits and vegetables, pudding, and shelf stable milk.  The purpose of the food package is to provide children with the nourishment they need for proper development and to set them up to return to school on Monday ready to learn.

(Funded in part by the Great Rivers United Way)

Food Fair

IMG_9509

Summer 2013 Food Fair feeds hundreds

Through a coordinated effort with Channel One Foodbank in Rochester, MN, a Feeding America foodbank, the first Food Fair was held in July 2009.  Pallets of food are delivered and set up in the street next to WAFER during non-winter months.  During extreme weather the Food Fair is generously housed in the Mcloone warehouse behind WAFER.  Clients are given a Food Fair ticket to be used the day of the event which is generally held on the 4th Saturday of the month from 10-12, unless on a holiday weekend or city wide events.  Client families walk down the line and pick up the various food items.  Foods vary from month to month based on availability and access by Channel One, but can include cereal, canned vegetables, crackers, frozen meat, complete meals, bread, and more.  Client families receive about 50 pounds in this addition food package for the month.  WAFER staff encourages families to bring bags, boxes, or wagons to carry the food items since the shopping carts on hand are not enough to accommodate the nearly 500 families who will be served during the 2 hour time frame.

In August 2010, the Food Fair was extended to the West Salem community and is held on the west side of town on Hwy 16 near the car dealerships.  The Food Fair generally operates for 1 hour and serves nearly 100 residents on the eastern side of La Crosse County.

Mobile Drop

The Mobile Drop programs incorporate Food Share and Food Fair to allow residents in more rural communities it utilize WAFER services without the added expense of travel or just simply trying to find a way to get to WAFER.  Food Share packages are assembled taking family preferences into consideration as much as possible, similar to the Senior Share program.  Food Fair boxes are packed by Channel One staff, containing the same items available at our La Crosse and West Salem locations.  Both the Food Share package and the Food Fair package are delivered at the same time.  This program is currently available in Mindoro and Bangor.

To print off an application for this program, click the link below.  Return completed form to WAFER.

Mobile Food Package Delivery Application

Food Rescue

WAFER relies on a variety of food sources to adequately feed families.  We are currently supported by individuals, businesses, school groups, organizations, clubs, and churches.  As a TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) outlet, WAFER receives government commodities.

“Food Rescue” allows us to utilize another source of food when local retailers heavily support us to pick up dry and fresh product from their business.  A dented box or a close date on packing may make an item “unsalable” in the store, but we are able to get those food items to hungry families usually within a day.  Additionally, trucking companies occasionally have product declined by a retailer for one reason or another.  This could be a couple cases or a couple pallets of product, but it is perfectly fine for us.  What once was sent to or bound for the landfill is now used by people who are hungry.

Restaurants, grocery stores, and food suppliers are encouraged to contact us to donate food as well as any retailer or service related business that may be holding a special event. Call us to find out how to help.

 

WAFER is an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, public assistance participation, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.