Food for People in Need


WAFER Food Pantry will remain open and committed to serving the community through the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Response time to emails and voicemails may be delayed due to increasing workloads.

We are happy to continue serving the needs of our community at this time and ask you to check our website frequently for more information and updates.

NEW INCOME GUIDELINES – The government commodities program released the new income guidelines effective June 1, 2020.  The threshold for participating in the TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) has drastically changed and more people than ever are now eligible to receive food assistance.  Find new income guidelines here.

We are anticipating an increase in need and would greatly appreciate any food or monetary donations.  Monetary donations will be used to purchase items in short supply.  Food donations will be accepted at the garage door on Sumner St and will be quarantined for 4 days according to new food pantry guidelines.

Food distribution processes have been modified (and the Food Fair event – see below) to reduce risk, keep our community safe, and ensure access to food.  Pre-packaged boxes of non-perishable and perishable food for all existing or new clients will be distributed during normal hours.

All patrons will be able to receive 2 complete food packages per month through October.  The situation will be re-evaluated at months end and a decision made to either continue offering two food packages a month or return to previous distribution policies.  Please check back frequently.  Additional food packages will not be counted against the emergency food package visit allowance per calendar year policy.  The “10-day” policy will still be followed, meaning your two complete food packages must be utilized a minimum 10 days apart.  Partial packages (dairy, bread, and produce) will still be available the other weeks of the month that the complete food package isn’t received.

New procedures are as follows and will continue until further notice:

Clients will wait in a line with designated distancing spaces at the main pantry location.  People using the Mobile Food Pantry should individually implement the 6ft distancing requirement.

Clients will be greeted by staff at the side door on Sumner St. to gather information – account holder name and family size – then receive a food package. Packages will include a box of dry goods and a box/bag of dairy, produce, bakery, and meat. Carts will be available for clients to transport packages to their vehicle and will be expected to quickly return after use. New clients can apply in person and receive a food package the same day.

Things to Bring:
* Photo ID
* Personal carts to transport food

Food Fair procedures are as follows: The one Saturday per month extra food package distribution will continue as scheduled from 10-12 at the La Crosse location and 10-11 in West Salem.  To comply with COVID-19 government orders, a drive thru process will be implemented to prevent people from standing in lines.  Minimal walk up services will be provided.  Vehicles should line up beginning at Causeway Blvd and Sumner St. facing west toward Copeland Ave..  The line should back up east down Causeway Blvd toward the river then on Milwaukee St. (See map below)  Turning on to Car St initially may be the easiest.  Tickets issued prior to close the Friday before the event will be collected by WAFER staff prior to receiving a food package. There is no change in procedure for West Salem.  You can find the event dates on the Calendar tab.