Pittsville FFA Teams with Businesses to Stock Local Food Pantry

Shawana Bratlie, Heidi Kundinger, Ruth Durrant, Madeline Hensel

OnFocus – Food pantries have been stretched thin during this pandemic year. In an effort to help, Pittsville High School FFA has teamed up with Pittsville area businesses to take care of their community. Their recipient is the aptly named Pittsville Area Neighbors Shelf (PANS), a volunteer-run food pantry that has been serving the community for over 20 years.

From February 22 (National FFA Week) to March 23 (National Ag Day), blue and gold decorated food donation boxes are located in 18 Pittsville area businesses.

“A part of the FFA mission is ‘Living to Serve,’” stated Hannah Hensel, Pittsville FFA President. “With the Covid guidelines at school, we were unable to do the typical FFA Week celebrations so members agreed to live to serve and keep our mission local.”

Shirley Kolar, PANS leader, welcomes the effort. “Because of Covid, the annual Pittsville Empty Bowls event benefiting PANS is not being held this year. So this FFA food drive is filling a big need to restock our shelves.”

There are items that local food pantries need more than others, so students compiled a list of suggested items to donate (see below).

Pittsville Café owner Renee Losievski jumped at the chance to participate. “Pittsville is a small, close-knit community, and businesses are delighted to work with our FFA to benefit neighbors in need.”

Members of the Pittsville business community have a long history of supporting FFA activities such as the June Dairy Breakfast, Market Animal Sale and annual Meat and Labor Auction. And now the FFA is returning the favor.

According to Hensel, “In addition to helping individuals and families who use PANS, supporting small local businesses is an easy way to support the area we live in. We want to not only collect donated items but we want our community members to stop in and see what local businesses have to offer.”

18 Businesses Partnering with Pittsville High FFA on Food Drive

Stop in at any of these fine Pittsville Area Businesses to drop off your food donations for P.A.N.S.

• Apothecary
• Baum’s Mercantile
• Blue Bayou
• Cenex
• Chasteen Agency
• Dupe’s Diner
• Hay Creek Pallet
• Healing Hands Chiropractic
• Horsin’ Around Saloon
• Luther’s Pet Crematory
• Pittsville Café
• Pittsville Community Library
• Pittsville Farm & Home Center
• Pittsville Fire Department
• Pittsville Vision Center
• Special EFX
• Subway
• Wisconsin Farm Business

L-R/ Angie Yerke, Madeline Hensel, Heidi Kundinger, Ruth Durrant

Support our Community Food Drive….10 Great Ideas for Donations!

When you give to the Pittsville FFA Community Food Drive, make sure you’re stocking their shelves with what they really need—and avoid what they don’t. While every donation of unexpired food is appreciated, there are items that local food pantries need more than others.

Next time you’re headed to the grocery store, bulk up your shopping list with a few of these non-perishable items to drop off at one of our 18 locations throughout Pittsville:

1. Meal kits that don’t require extra ingredients. Kits that include canned meat, canned sauce and pasta all in one box are great choices. This means the person receiving them can make them without having to purchase additional ingredients.
2. Pancake and muffin mix that only require water.
3. Canned soups and pasta meals.
4. Canned meat. Tuna, chicken, salmon, Spam or similar types of meat are excellent choices for donation.
5. Variety of canned fruits.
6. Staple pantry items. Flour, sugar, cornmeal, rice, dry beans, oil, shortening, baking soda and powder, vanilla extract and seasonings of all kinds are always welcomed. Garlic, pepper, salt, chili powder, etc. are also great options.
7. Shelf stable milk.
8. Juice boxes.
9. Household cleaning supplies and paper products. Toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, sanitizing solutions, sanitizing wipes and basic cleaning supplies are very welcomed by those in need.
10. Basic Hygiene Products and Baby Diapers/Wipes.

We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!

MaryAnn Lippert
Author: MaryAnn Lippert

MaryAnn is a Pittsville native who believes that small rural Wisconsin communities are the best places in the world to live, raise a family, work and play. She learned this by traveling for six years through 40 northern Wisconsin counties listening to residents and helping solve problems related to state government. MaryAnn enjoys working in her yard and woods, hanging out with her family and cheering for all Wisconsin sports teams. Heaven on earth is Lambeau Field, north end zone.