Northwoods food pantry encourages donations - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Northwoods food pantry encourages donations

RHINELANDER (WAOW) - A Northwoods food pantry is pushing to keep its shelves from becoming empty. The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry is seeing more families in need due to the harsh winter. 

The pantry's manager says every box of donated food counts, especially after this winter.  She says with the cold, people are paying more for utilities, which leaves less money for food.

"One guy paid $1,200 for 200 gallons of gas that was his two week paycheck," said Jane Motowski, the pantry manager.

This year, she says about twice as many new families have used the pantry.

She says the pantry helps feed as many as 700 families a month.

This inspired Tulowitsky to help.

"I didn't have anything to do in the wintertime," he said. "I thought well, this would be a great opportunity to help people."

This time of year though, the manager says the pantry usually sees fewer donations.

But this year, during March and April, a philanthropic foundation has agreed to match part of the donations.

"It's just an added boost for what usually is a quiet time for us," said Motowski.

To encourage the community to donate, the pantry hosted a canned food display challenge.

"All the cans come back to us and it gets the community involved," said Motowski.

People can vote for their favorite display at the Rouman Cinema by donating a can.

Volunteers say they enjoy seeing the community come together and knowing every can makes a difference.

"It's a joy just helping people out," said Tulowitzky.

The pantry is planning to move to a new location this summer.

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