Editor's Note: The following information was provided to Patch via a news release from the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.
Each December, for the past 11 years, families from three local neighborhoods gather together to collect thousands of non-perishable food items and as well as monetary contributions to benefit the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.
The 11th annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food & Fund drive is scheduled from noon to 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the subdivisions of Tall Grass, Rolling Ridge and Meadowbrook.
Coordinators Dave Rebro and Shannon Majewski encourage residents of the subdivisions to leave groceries on their porches or at the end of their driveways on Saturday morning. Later that day, children from the neighborhood collect the food with help from adult family members. Monetary contributions are made via checks made out to the Food Pantry of Waukesha County.
This heartwarming tradition started around a Thanksgiving table many years ago. A group of families from the neighborhood were sharing a Thanksgiving meal. Each person at the table spoke of their gratitude for many, many things. In recognition for those blessings, the group decided to share their good fortune with those less fortunate.
Rebro adds, “We all wanted to give back to the community and we all thought it could also be a valuable lesson for the children to learn.”
That first year money was collected and a contribution was delivered directly to the Pantry by a few neighborhood families. When they arrived, they discovered the Pantry was open and distributing groceries. They observed the long waiting line of clients and a parking lot filled to capacity. The sight of all those people in need really made an impression on the group, particularly the children.
One of the children present remarked, “After seeing the long line of people waiting to get food, I realized how lucky we are to have what we have ... and it felt good to give to others.”
Co-Coordinator Rebro added, “We were all so surprised that day how the clients looked and dressed just like us. It really hit home that a situation could easily arise that could put anyone of us in that receiving line. That really opened our eyes and touched our hearts.”
Throughout the years, the neighbors have continued to expand their efforts and now collect food and funds from the three subdivisions. This annual tradition has accounted for contributions in excess of 30 tons of food and more than $24,000 for the Food Pantry. Karen Tredwell, executive director of the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, stated that the drive provides so much more than the much-needed and appreciated food and monetary donations.
“The efforts of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors group show that we live within a community that cares about all people," Tredwell said. "Their generous and hard work touches the lives of thousands of families who seek assistance through the Pantry.”
There is still time to participate in this year’s food drive; please visit their web site – www.nhnfooddrive.org for more information or contact Dave Rebro at 262-513-2833 or firstname.lastname@example.org