Since May 2012, when four local Antigo churches combined to make the Antigo Food Pantry, it has been located at 637 Superior St., the old Arlen’s building. But come Wednesday, Feb. 11, the pantry will call a new location home.
The pantry’s new location will be the old Langlade County Hospital Sports Medicine building on Progress Blvd. The hospital has allowed the pantry to take over their building free of rent as part of an ongoing partnership between the entities.
The reason for the move was rather simple for Steering committee members and volunteers to explain: more space was needed.
“The layout of the building was also very important,” Steering Committee Member, Kris Page said. “The building is much more open and the revamped layout will help serve our clients better.”
The move has not been easy for the pantry, however. It has taken a total community effort to make the new location home for the pantry.
“The community has been very supportive,” Page said. “When we’ve needed things people have stepped up donating their time, materials and money, and we are very thankful for that.”
The staff is made up completely from volunteers, many of which are retired.
“Its a nice way to stay active and help the community,” Mildred Goffin, who has been a volunteer at the pantry since its inception and has been a main distribution hog for the pantry since 2012.
Volunteers donate on average 790 hours a month. Some volunteers average around 12 to 15 hours per week, while others donate a few hours a month.
The pantry has leaned on its volunteers to ease the transition to the new building.
Ron Zalewski, a volunteer who has been coordinating the move, including building shelves, desks and many other projects, has donated countless hours to make sure the move goes as smoothly as possible.
The Habitat for Humanity donated $900 and volunteered its time to help build shelves and clean up the new building.
Kretz Lumber Co. donated materials to the pantry that went towards miscellaneous projects around the new building.
Other partners, such as: Lakeside Foods, Butch’s Super Value, Copps, Wal-Mart, Antigo Bakery, Little Ceasers and many others have donated food over the years that is served to the pantry’s clients on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The pantry spends about $3,500 a month on food for its clients. That money comes from private donations, grants, which the pantry spends countless hours applying for, and other donations from the community.
They also are a member of Feeding America where they can purchase meat for 24 cents a pound as well as any other foods they may need for their clients.
The switching of locations has truly been a community wide effort, including the volunteers, who have donated incalculable hours of their own time to see the pantry succeed.
The pantry’s hours will remain the same with the move: Wednesdays from 11 am to 1 pm and Fridays from 1 to 3 pm.
You can reach the pantry by taking a left onto highway 64, where Walgreens is on the corner. Take your next left onto Progress Blvd. and the pantry will be the second building on the right, 2120 Progress Blvd.