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Food pantries 'got milk' during 'Moola for Milk' fundraiser

The Pierce-St. Croix Chapter of Thrivent for Lutherans recently presented area Salvation Army director Duana Bremer, center, with a $1,600 donation from their Care Abound Community Fund to be used in the Moola for Milk campaign. Submitted photo

The Moola for Milk fund-raiser conducted this fall raised a total of $13,160 toward the purchase of more than 3,700 gallons of milk for food pantries in St. Croix and Pierce counties.

The effort was supported by 48 church congregations and four businesses in the area, including a $1,600 supplemental fund donation from the Pierce-St. Croix chapter of Thrivent for Lutherans, Care Abounds in Community fund. The milk will also be available to participants of the Backpack Program, which operates in some school districts.

While food pantries provide a variety of foods, meat and sometimes fresh produce, none have the funding, product availability or storage capacity for milk. Duana Bremer of the Salvation Army pointed out that milk and other dairy products are important parts of a complete nutritional diet.

Bremer also noted that although the United States is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, disparity between rich and poor is comparatively high, and that gap continues to grow. Compounding this problem, she said, is the current economic crisis the country faces and food. "As a result, food remains a primary concern within many households."

Area participants in the program included:

  • From Hudson, United Methodist, Bethel Lutheran, First Baptist, Holiday stations.
  • From River Falls, Ezekiel Lutheran, Grace Mission, Hope Lutheran, Luther Memorial, St. Bridget's Catholic Church, Assembly of God Church, Rush River Lutheran, Unitarian Universalist Society, Econofoods, Dick's IGA, Whole Earth Grocery Cooperative, Holiday North, Dick's Gas/Liquor and Kwik Trip.

    A service team of six members began meeting in February to plan and organize the fund-raiser. Moola for Milk jugs were placed in participating businesses and used in congregations to gather funds along with paper cows that were sold in a local grocery store. The event was a partnership with Salvation Army, which serves as the agent of the funds and distributes milk coupons to the food pantries and Backpack programs.

    For more information about the program, contact any of the service team members: Barbara Nelson, chairperson, (715) 265-4804; Duana Bremer, Salvation Army, (715) 247-2944; Eileen Helgeson, (715) 684-4686; Lois Michaelson, (715) 425-6647; Audrey Severson, (715) 273-5019; and Darlene Sittlow, (715) 796-8828.

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