Tomah Health Community Foundation donates $3,000 to Monroe County food pantry

TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) – Data shows the overall poverty rate in Monroe County is more than 11 percent.

While it’s below the national average — about 18 percent — too many families are still struggling to put food on the table.

Tomah Health Community Foundation leaders say one its biggest goals is supporting other non-profits that make a difference for families in the county.

And they felt it was necessary to give a helping hand to get more meals on families’ tables.

No matter how hard food pantries try to get people back on the right foot, there are still families out there that need to make ends meet.

“There’s always a need for people to eat, and that never goes away,” Second Harvest FoodShare Outreach Specialist Brian Larson said.

Food pantries like Second Harvest Foodbank provide these meals throughout Monroe County.

But sometimes, people aren’t aware of exactly what benefits pantries can provide.

Larson knows this experience second-hand from a Tomah family he’s talked with.

“She was telling me a story about how she had heard about the (Tomah) mobile (Second Harvest) pantry, but she never had any contact with us,” Larson said.

Larson says a woman and her husband turned to Second Harvest’s FoodShare program after they both lost their jobs.

And the program helped them make ends meet before they each found jobs again.

“It’s helped all the time,” Larson said. “But especially during the pandemic, it was really, really beneficial.”

Larson says 125,000 people in southwest Wisconsin are living off of Wisconsin FoodShare benefits.

That’s a 25 percent increase from before the pandemic.

So to make sure more families continue to get fed, the Tomah Health Community Foundation donated $3,000 to Second Harvest’s FoodShare program.

“Just because we did a check does not mean that the need is not ongoing,” Tomah Health Community Foundation president Peter Reichardt said. “So, we’re happy to be able to support them and their service for our community.”

“This $3,000 will go a long way to help make contacts with more people in Monroe County,” Larson said.

Building connections with families who need it most one at a time.

Second Harvest Foodbank operates out of Monroe, Vernon and Crawford counties.

Reichardt says the Tomah Health Community Foundation has been supporting Second Harvest Foodbank for eight years.

Recent News Headlines from News 8 Now  
Police: Onalaska toddler found dead in Milwaukee 
La Crosse Parks Board approves lease for old Fish Lab building in Riverside Park as entertainment venue 
La Crosse Parks Board OKs concept, location of multimillion-dollar rec center at Veterans Freedom Park 
FDA OKs mixing-and-matching COVID-19 booster shots; La Crosse expert says it comes with advantages