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 workload for volunteers and staff.

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 particularly after notification on Monday, March 30th that the largest one day food drive conducted in May by postal workers has been postponed.  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.

WAFER will be altering food distribution processes (and the Food Fair event – see below) to reduce risk, keep our community safe, and ensure access to food. We are here for all families in need during this time and will continue to provide the necessary resources to our community. WAFER food pantry will now be providing pre-packaged boxes of non-perishable and perishable food for all existing or new clients during normal distribution hours. ***Effective May 11th, 2020 through the end of August, all patrons will be able to receive 2 complete food packages per month.  The situation will be re-evaluated at that time and a decision made to either continue offering two food packages a month or returning to previous distribution policies.  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 begins immediately and will continue until further notice at WAFER Food Pantry as well as the services provided on the Mobile Food Pantry as well. New procedures are as follows:

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 then be greeted by a volunteer at the door to gather information – account holder name and family size – then receive a food package. These 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 be returned after use. New clients will be able to apply in person at the door and receive a food package the same day.

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

To ensure the safety and handling of food, WAFER staff and volunteers will also be taking extra sanitation efforts while packaging food, working with patrons, and within the building. These measures and procedures will be taking place until further notice. Any updates will be posted on the website.

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 on Friday, April 24th will be collected on Sumner St prior to receiving a food package. There is no change in procedure for West Salem.



From our friends and partner at The Food Basket:

The Food Basket, located by the American Legion in Onalaska, plans to continue serving clients in need from Onalaska, Holmen, French Island, West Salem, Galesville and Trempealeau during normal business hours.  Clients will receive a pre-packed food package at the East entrance to the building.  The food package will include fresh produce, dairy, meat, canned and packaged food items as well as personal care items.  To help protect the health of volunteers and clients, building access will be limited to volunteers. For questions email the Food Basket Director at or call 608-783-7722 .