Wednesday, October 31, 2007

United Way grants emergency funds to feed area families

Shelves at Soup Or Socks (SOS) food pantry will be restocked soon, a relief for area families. In response to SOS’s shortage, Marshfield Area United Way took urgent action to grant emergency funds to replenish food supplies in the pantry.

At last week’s Vision Council, Cheryl Hartl, SOS program director, reported the use of her program had increased and supplies were steadily decreasing.

“We have had 200 more people using the pantry as compared to last year. Usage is up and supplies are down,” Hartl said at the Vision Council.

“I called Cheryl after the Vision Council and suggested she submit a grant request to receive supplemental funding to hold her over until upcoming food drives, said Sarah Krenn, community impact coordinator.

But as the week progressed and United Way staff continued discussing SOS’s need, it became clear that action needed to be taken right now.

United Way’s grant deadline is November 1 and Executive Director Kim Baltus and Krenn were concerned Hartl wouldn’t receive the money soon enough. After a grant is submitted, it needs to be reviewed by the Community Impact Committee and approved by the Board. A funding check wouldn’t be issued until the week of Thanksgiving.

“We needed to take immediate steps to ensure the program could continue to serve our residents,” said Baltus.

“Cheryl and I spoke about the program’s options, and issuing this emergency grant for $5,000 was the best way to address this need and get them through December 31, 2007. We didn’t want the program to continue in this deficit or run out of food again in late December,” Krenn said.

Marshfield Area United Way’s quick response to make a great community impact was because of the generosity of last year’s contributions to its annual campaign. To help United Way continue its work with programs in our community, like Soup Or Socks, you can contributed to its 2007 campaign by giving through your workplace, call the United Way office at 384-9992 or visit

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