The Antigo Area Community Food Pantry opened for use for the first time last week. The pantry is not a brand-new entity, but rather the consolidation of four city church pantries, those from St. John Catholic, St. Mary and Hyacinth Catholic, Faith United Church of Christ and Seven Day Adventist, into one. Two people who have helped to get the pantry operational talked about the first week open during Monday's WATK-AM 900 Arby's Breakfast Club.
Peg Jopek said the first week went well given all the preparation that went into the pantry. "I was surprised how well it went, actually. But it was all of that planning and organization by several people before it opened. You know all the stocking of the shelves there's a definite. Everything went fine. It was great."
Chris Paige said that the site of the new pantry, located on the 600 block of Superior Street near Fourth Avenue, was in good condition for their opening use thanks to all the work done on it by volunteers and people willing to help when they needed it. "If we needed something, you know, if we needed paint, if we needed flooring, if we needed refrigerators, freezers, whatever, you know, we put the word out and it came to us. We got all kinds of donations from the community. They really supported us."
As for food supplies at the pantry, organizers said recent food collections done by the Boy Scouts and the U.S. Postal Service carriers help to fill their shelves adequately for their first days. Paige said that what they need now most is people helping them at their new location. "You don't have to make a huge commitment to volunteer. You can come for a couple hours. You can come once a month. You can come every day three hours. So you know, you can make whatever commitment you want to and still get involved."
As for continuing to keep their food supplies adequate donations will also be welcomed, with Jopek saying you can send them to the four supporting churches that help run the pantry. She added that money donations to pay for food and other needs will always be welcomed. "All of the churches, I'm sure, would like cash donations to go to the Antigo Area Community Food Pantry, Box 194, Antigo, and if they have any questions they may call 715-623-1103."
The pantry itself will be open for people to get food at every Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 9 to 1.