2 Champions of the Poor: Hope Center Pantry & St. Vincent de Paul

A toy garage built from a box that contained food delivered by St. Vincent de Paul volunteer.

Give a boy a box, and his imagination will do the rest! We’d like to share this heartwarming story of two charitable organizations working hand-in-hand to make a difference in the life of a family in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

St. Vincent DePaul Answers the Call

Several volunteers at Hope Center Pantry also volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP), Green Bay, Wisconsin. Recently, a SVDP volunteer took a call from a mother with two children. She was between jobs, her car broke down, she received an eviction notice, and her family was low on food. That’s a lot for anyone to handle.

Free Food from Hope Center Pantry

The St. Vincent de Paul volunteer scheduled to meet with her the following day for a full assessment, but it was obvious that she needed free food, immediately. It was 2:45pm on a Thursday (Hope Center Pantry closes at 3pm), and the SVDP volunteer offered to get her some food from Hope Center Pantry to help the mother and her children through the weekend. Hope Center Pantry volunteers promptly delivered a box of food to the family, and the mother was quietly surprised at the generous amount of food. Her little boy carried the gallon of milk into the apartment and came back to help some more. His eyes lit up when he saw the pizza and juice. The volunteer smiled and said she hoped they would enjoy it. He enthusiastically responded, “I’m going to enjoy ALL of it!”

St. Vincent de Paul In-Home Visit

When the St. Vincent de Paul in-home visit team went to the family’s apartment the next morning, the mother was making omelets with the eggs from the pantry. That was wonderful to see, but that’s not all that made the SVDP team happy. They noticed that the boy made a play garage for his toy cars from the Hope Center Pantry food box. Together, St. Vincent DePaul and Hope Center Pantry gave this mother and her son some much-needed support in a difficult time. What a blessing to spread a little bit of hope by helping others.

Help Others by Volunteering at Hope Center Pantry

Want to make a difference in the community by helping others as a Hope Center Pantry volunteer? Contact us about volunteer opportunities or to schedule a visit to the pantry to experience volunteerism first-hand. The pantry is open 1-3pm Monday through Thursday at 505 Clinton St. Green Bay. Read the How We You Help information to learn more. Volunteers provide an essential service to those in need in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area. Thank you to all of the volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul and Hope Center Pantry.

Letter Carriers Food Drive Yields 6,000 Pounds of Food for the Hungry

volunteers at Hope Center Pantry sort donations from the Letter Carrier Food Drive

After a three-year hiatus because of COVID-19, the Letter Carriers Food Drive returned on May 13, 2023, to Brown County, Wisconsin. Green Bay-area residents were encouraged to leave a bag of food by their mailbox to help fight hunger.

Food Drive Collects 6,000 Pounds of Nonperishables

As a result of the Letter Carriers Food Drive, Hope Center Pantry received 10 totes of food, totaling about 6,000 pounds. What a busy day for letter carriers and pantry volunteers! Some Hope Center Pantry volunteers drove the mail carrier routes to collect the food donations. Other volunteers unloaded the nonperishable food at the Post Office and loaded it into totes. Many other volunteers sorted and stored the food at the pantry. What a tremendous effort by so many dedicated pantry volunteers.

Largest One-Day Food Drive in the Country

This food drive is sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers and is the largest one-day food drive in the country. Letter carriers give back to the community by collecting millions of pounds of food, all which stays in the area where it was collected. The 2023 food drive was the 31st event.

Organize a Food Drive at Your School or Business

Thanks to the National Association of Letter Carriers for helping address food insecurity in Brown County, Wisconsin, by organizing the Letter Carriers Food Drive. Hope Center Pantry was honored to receive and distribute the donated food to pantry clients. If your school, business, or nonprofit is interested in organizing a food drive or collection drive for Hope Center Pantry, please contact us. Help us serve and guide those who are in need in the Green Bay area.

Love Life Ministry Volunteerism Has its Perks: Experience the Joy of Friendship

Mary Davis, Irene Jankowski,and Nancy Spiegelhoff  in Mary Davis' new home. Sharon Zambrowicz took the photo.
Irene Jankowski, left, and Nancy Spiegelhoff, right, visit Mary Davis, at Mary’s new home. Sharon Zambrowicz took the photo. The four women developed a wonderful friendship, brought together as volunteers at Love Life Ministry.

My name is Mary Davis. I became involved with the Love Life Ministry back in 2000. At the time, I was getting divorced from my husband of 11 years. I was looking for ways to volunteer within the church. I knew Sharon Zambrowicz from grade school. She was my cooking teacher at St. Joseph Grade School, as well as the mother of my fellow classmate. I began helping at Love Life Ministry, checking in the clients and also sorting clothes. Eventually, I helped put the monthly list together. I continue to help with the list.

Volunteers Go Above & Beyond

Both Sharon and Larry Zambrowicz were so involved with every aspect of their ministry, so much so that they not only helped people on Thursdays but throughout the week and even at their own home. Sharon helped me as well. One time, Sharon, Nancy Spiegelhoff and Irene Jankowski brought dinner over to my place to celebrate the recent purchase of my home. They went above and beyond!

Nancy also took extra time out of her busy life on more than one occasion. She even when out for dessert with me at a local restaurant or offered for me to stop by her home so she could be a sounding board for another day. These women are amazing; they helped me tremendously!

The Benefits of Volunteering

Love Life Ministry volunteers Larry and Sharon Zambrowicz talk with Mary Davis
Love Life Ministry volunteers Larry and Sharon Zambrowicz talk with Mary Davis,

I know it’s an old saying but it’s true: You get more from helping others and volunteering, than you give! As I continue to help just a little now at Love Life Ministry, I have met Joann Vaile, the current director. She seems to have filled Sharon’s shoes very well.

There are many other volunteers involved now, of whom I only know Karen Domke. Karen is another great volunteer who’s involved in so much so unselfishly. These volunteers are continuing the dream Sharon and Larry started, which has become something we have come to expect. May we never forget how wonderful all these volunteers are and not take any of them for granted!
Thank you, Love Life Ministry!

Hope Center Pantry Opens Late for Veterans & Active Military

man in a military uniform to represent extended food pantry hours for veterans

Starting in May 2023, Hope Center Pantry, Green Bay, Wisconsin, extended its pantry hours to specifically serve military veterans. Military veterans and active-duty personnel can visit Hope Center Pantry to pick up free food from 3-4pm on the second and third Tuesdays of the month. Volunteers, who are veterans also, serve their fellow veterans during these extended food pantry hours. Hope Center Pantry is located at 505 Clinton Street on the West Side of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Hunger Impacts Lives of Military Veterans

Hunger affects many military veterans and their families every day. According to Feeding America, 1 in 9 working-age veterans live in a food insecure household, and 24 percent of active-duty service members were food insecure in 2020. Hope Center Pantry is doing something about it, by extending pantry hours and staffing the pantry with military veterans’ needs in mind.

Extended Pantry Hours to Feed Hungry Veterans

Hope Center Pantry is giving back to veterans and active military members who serve our country now or in the past. The extended food pantry hours for veterans are designed to help military families make ends meet. If you or someone you know is active military or a military veteran in need of food assistance, visit Hope Center Pantry for free food during regular pantry hours or the military-only hours.

Veterans Encouraged to Volunteer at Food Pantry

Additionally, if you’re a military veteran looking to give back to the community and other veterans, consider becoming a food pantry volunteer. Contact us about volunteer opportunities or to schedule a visit to the pantry to experience volunteerism first-hand. The pantry is open 1-3pm Monday through Thursday at 505 Clinton St. Green Bay. Read the How Can We Help information to learn more. Volunteers provide an essential service to those in need in Green Bay, Wisconsin, including active military and veterans.