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Hope Center Pantry Spreads Holiday Cheer to Homeless

Hope Center Pantry brightened the holidays for 33 homeless families on Dec. 2. The pantry partnered with St. Vincent de Paul, Green Bay, and the Green Bay Packers to host the second annual “Believe” event at St. Agnes.

One hundred children and 66 adults experiencing homelessness attended the holiday event. They enjoyed a turkey dinner, music, and a visit by Green Bay Packers player Jon Runyon. Jon showed everyone the cleats that he wore in a game to show his support of St. Vincent DePaul. The bright blue shoes feature the words SVDP Green Bay, Help Us Help Others and the St. Vincent de Paul logo. Jon participates in the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats initiative, and the cleats show his commitment to St. Vincent de Paul and the homeless they serve. My Cause My Cleats allows players to show their dedication to a cause that’s important to them.

Each family who attended “Believe” received wrapped gifts. Additionally, Hope Center Pantry supplied bags of food to hand out to families. It’s amazing what difference organizations can make when they work together! Hope Center Pantry partners with St. Vincent de Paul and the Green Bay Packers for various initiatives. To get involved at Hope Center, contact us about volunteer opportunities.

Food Assistance: Pantry Serves 1,489 in November

ham on a platter like ham that Hope Center Pantry gave to clients as food assistance

The Hope Center Pantry collaborates with the Green Bay West-side Catholic churches to break the cycle of poverty. The mission of the Hope Center is to serve and guide those who are in need, empower and support others. To fulfill this mission, Hope Center Pantry provides nutritious meals for more than a thousand individuals experiencing food insecurity in the Green Bay area.

Putting Turkey, Ham on Holiday Tables

Monthly food assistance provides families with nutritious meals. In November, the panty gave away 33 turkeys to clients, and in December, the panty gave away 24 hams. The turkeys and hams were welcomed additions to clients’ Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

Providing Food Assistance in 2023

As 2023 comes to an end, the food pantry totaled its food assistance numbers to determine the pantry’s impact on feeding the hungry of Green Bay.

  • In January 2023, Hope Center Pantry served 471 clients representing 1,774 family members.
  • In May 2023, Hope Center Pantry served 593 clients representing 2,319 family members.
  • In August 2023, Hope Center Pantry served 374 clients, representing 1,425 family members.
  • In November 2023, Hope Center Pantry served 417 clients representing 1,489 family members.

Filling Boxes for Hungry Families of All Sizes

Hope Center Pantry, 505 Clinton St., Green Bay WI, permits clients to pick up food for their households once a month. The pantry fills the food assistance boxes of different sizes, based on the size of the client’s family. The cost to fill each box varies, but the approximate costs are:

  • X-Large family – $53.48
  • Large family – $45.10
  • Small family – $32.65
  • Single family – $21.61

Working to End Food Insecurity in Green Bay

Hope Center Pantry volunteers are committed to helping the hungry of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The pantry is working to end food insecurity, helping the hungry be hopeful and well-fed in Brown County. To be a part of Hope Center Pantry, visit How You Can Help for information about donating and volunteering.

The Pecards: Retirement Brings New Purpose

Hope Center Volunteers Jim and Holly Pecard and their granddaughter

For some people, retirement represents a time to sit back, relax and talk about the good old days. However, for Jim and Holly Pecard, retirement presented a time for new challenges, a time to give back, and a time to meet new people and to make a difference in some small way in our community.

From Healthcare to Heartfelt Service

Holly retired from nursing in 2020. She was an LPN at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital for over 20 years on the rehab floor. She then transferred to Prevea Health, where she worked for another 20 plus years in spine care. Holly has a strong passion to serve others, combined with a need to have fun while meeting new and interesting people. This led her to a mission of volunteer work.

She started with the Hope Center Pantry in 2020, but soon expanded to volunteer roles as a reader at Lincoln Elementary School, a guide for veterans on the Old Glory Honor Flight, an advocate for students seeking work experience at the ADRC Grounded Café, a camp counselor for challenged campers attending Camp Daniel, and a player guide with the Miracle League. She has also volunteered for special events such as Coats for Kids, the Return to School Readiness Program, and the Toys for Tots program. If you know Holly, she likes to be busy and can build fun into whatever she takes on.

A Social Worker’s Dedication to Community Well-Being

Joining her in this new phase of life, Jim took a similar approach to giving back to the community by doing volunteer work. Jim is a licensed clinical social worker that has worked in the Employee Assistance field for over 40 years. He currently works two days a week for Employee Resource Center Inc. (ERC) providing mental health counseling to employees and their families. Jim has also worked for Kimberly Clark Corporations EAP in Neenah and Family Services of Brown County.

Together in Service at Hope Center Pantry

Like other couples, Jim and Holly enjoy working together at the pantry. Jim was pleasantly surprised when he discovered that several other pantry volunteers were previous coworkers of his. This included Ellen Moran, George Kamps, and Therese Hathway. Jim and Holly recognize how rewarding the pantry work is and find the pantry recipients to be extremely grateful for its services.

Leadership in Church, Scouts and Community

Jim’s other volunteer work includes over 35 years with Boy Scout Troop 1008 and the Knights of Columbus at the Quad Parish. He is also on the Board of Directors for ADRC, and a member of the Brown County Transportation Coordinating Committee.

Beyond Retirement: Jim & Holly’s Volunteer Legacy

Jim and Holly are both from Marinette, Wisconsin, and met in high school. They have been married for 47 years and have two sons, James IV and Matthew. Their pride and joy is their 7-year-old granddaughter, Veronica, who resides with Jim and Maria in Lincoln Park, Illinois. When they are not volunteering, Jim and Holly enjoy spoiling their granddaughter, lying on a Florida beach or spending time at Kelly Lake with family and friends. They are devoted Packer fans that are fortunate to have season tickets. Jim and Holly will tell you that they are blessed in many ways and hope that their volunteer work makes a difference in some small way in another person’s life.

More Than Food: A Mountain of Toilet Paper from Georgia-Pacific

Donation of 6 pallets of toilet paper from Georgia-Pacific.

Did you know that Hope Center Pantry gives away more than just nonperishable food? The pantry also distributes personal hygiene supplies like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving cream, disposable razors, sanitary napkins, and tampons. One of the most sought-after items on the pantry shelves isn’t food – it’s toilet paper! Toilet paper is a basic necessity in every household. About half of the Hope Center Pantry clients rely on FoodShare benefits.

Overjoyed to Receive Donation

FoodShare strives to end hunger by providing benefits to people who have limited money to buy food. Individuals can use FoodShare benefits to purchase food, but they can’t use FoodShare benefits to purchase paper products such as toilet paper and facial tissues. That’s why the pantry was overjoyed to receive a wonderful donation of toilet paper from Georgia-Pacific.

Georgia-Pacific Donates 6 Pallets of Toilet Paper

Georgia-Pacific donated a mountain of toilet paper to the Hope Center Pantry. Pantry volunteers were astounded by the paper manufacturer’s generosity. Georgia-Pacific donated six pallets of huge rolls of toilet paper. Seven, hard-working volunteers loaded and unloaded the toilet paper. Believe it or not, they accomplished the task in only 70 minutes. Thank you, Georgia Pacific, and all corporate donors, for helping improve the lives of those experiencing poverty and food insecurity.

Thank You to Business and Nonprofits Donors

Hope Center Pantry appreciates its business and nonprofit partners who donate to the pantry and those who organize food drives, like the Letter Carriers, Youth Hockey, Boy Scouts, and Thrivent. Also, thank you to organizations that collect personal hygiene supplies and paper products. Thank you all!

Wagon Donation Empowers Pantry Clients

Pantry client using donated wagon to carry food.

The Hope Center Pantry strives to make life easier for people experiencing food insecurity, and a wagon donation achieves this. Quite a few of the Hope Center Pantry clients do not have vehicles or cannot drive. So, they walk to the pantry, 501 Clinton St., Green Bay, to pick up their groceries. Sometimes, they live miles away!

As a pantry staff, we have seen them sort through their food items to determine what they can physically carry to their home. The heavier items are sometimes left behind, even though they could really benefit from having them.

Thankfully, Hope Center Pantry resolved this problem. In fall of 2023, a generous donor gave the pantry a new, Uline lightweight wagon. Clients can borrow the donated wagon to transport their groceries home. So, having this wagon available means they can take ALL of their allocated groceries home with them.

Pantry clients have been so happy to use the little blue wagon, and pantry volunteers are so happy to see pantry clients leave the pantry with the food they need to feed themselves and their families. For information regarding how to donate or volunteer at the pantry, contact us today.

Green Bay Packers’ De’Vondre Campbell Sacks Hunger

holiday food box from Chucky Sacks Hunger

A Green Bay Packers player is helping to feed the clients at Hope Center Pantry who are experiencing food insecurity. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell partnered with Campbell’s for the Chunky Sacks Hunger program. De’Vondre and other NFL defensive players are members of The Soup Squad. They will donate over two million meals to people in need. Chunky Sacks Hunger donates one meal to Feeding America for every Chunky Bowl sold during the NFL season.

Additionally, Chunky and De’Vondre Campbell will continue their support of Feeding America all season long by donating 1,000 Campbell’s products every time the Packers make a sack.

On Oct. 31, De’Vondre volunteered at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to pack holiday meal boxes. The food boxes contained cans of Campbell’s Chunky Soup, three pounds of rice, and one pound of black beans. Plus, Feeding America added a two-pound bag of pasta. The Hope Center Pantry received 70 holiday meal boxes and distributed them to pantry families.

Hope Center Pantry was one of several food pantries in the Green Bay area that benefited from De’Vondre’s generosity and the Chunky Sacks Hunger initiative. It is truly heartwarming to see caring athletes like De’Vondre give back to the underserved in Green Bay. Go, Pack, Go!

Sue Rohan: Pantry Volunteer with Social Justice Focus

Sue Rohan works for social justice in a variety of capacities. Her story of altruism includes 17 years of volunteerism at Hope Center Food Pantry.

Hope Center Pantry volunteer Sue Rohan volunteers in Haiti

I have been a pantry volunteer for the last 17 years. (Yikes! I had to look it up, and can’t believe it’s been that long.) This summer I took on the manager role twice monthly. Every group of volunteers I work with is committed to providing our clients what they need and in a very friendly and caring manner. It’s truly a pleasure to spend these Wednesdays at the pantry.

Meet Pantry Volunteer Sue Rohan

I grew up in Green Bay and graduated from a nursing program in Madison. I worked as a registered nurse at Bellin Hospital for 37 years before retiring. I reached the point where my grandchildren began arriving, and I wanted to spend more time with them.

Social Justice in Action

But not working left a void in my life, and that’s when social justice became my focus. I volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Green Bay, became very involved with the COTS program (now St. John’s homeless shelter) and I joined the disaster team at the Red Cross. I spent several weeks working in shelters in Florida after Hurricane Wilma affected that area. A few years later, I did a mission trip to Haiti (the hardest thing I ever did). I learned how blessed we are to live where we do.

Annual Medical Mission to Uganda

The past 10 years, I have been a part of a grassroots group known as MANU (Medical Aid to Northern Uganda). Our small group does an annual medical mission to that area where we see people out in the bush who have no access to medical doctors. An American doctor is part of our team, and we usually use two Ugandan doctors to help us at our “clinics.” There we screen folks for diabetes and heart disease and provide them with any needed medications. This mission has truly taken hold of my heart, and our group fundraises during the year to purchase the needed meds for our next mission. We also help to support a hospital in northern Uganda.

Resurrection Parish, St. Vincent de Paul & Gardening Club

I’m an active member of Resurrection Parish and part of their health and wellness committee. I continue to volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul and am part of a group who provides monthly meals to Freedom House. I’m also the treasurer of the Gardeners Club of Green Bay.

Family Life as Grandmother to 4

My husband, Rich, and I have been married 53 years and we have two children. Our son, Derek, lives with his family in Georgia. Our daughter, Amy, and her family live in Sun Prairie. We have two grandsons and two granddaughters, and they have been such a blessing to us.

Privileged to be Hope Center Pantry Volunteer

I enjoy traveling, reading, gardening and playing bridge. I consider it a privilege to be part of the Hope Center Pantry team.

Hope Center Pantry volunteers make a lasting impact by feeding the hungry in Brown County, Wisconsin. The pantry offers many different ways to volunteer. Contact us to learn how you can join Sue and the other pantry volunteers who are making a difference in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Food Insecurity: Pantry Serves 1,425 in August

Hope Center Pantry volunteers transport food to Green Bay to address food insecurity

Hope Center Pantry continues to see many new clients facing food insecurity in Brown County, Wisconsin. From January to August of 2023, the pantry registered over 500 new clients. For the month of August, Hope Center Pantry served 374 clients, representing a total of 1,425 family members. That’s a very large number considering clients are permitted to visit Hope Center Pantry just once a month to pick up food for their households.

1 in 9 Veterans Experience Food Insecurity

The only exception is for military veterans and active military personnel, who can pick up food at the pantry once a week. They fought for our country, and therefore, Hope Center Pantry supports them through tough times. Hope Center Pantry’s Veterans hours are from 3-5pm on the second and third Tuesdays of the month. 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.

Feeding the Hungry in Brown County

Hope Center Pantry volunteers are committed to helping the hungry of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The pantry is working to end food insecurity, helping the hungry be hopeful and well-fed in Brown County. To be a part of Hope Center Pantry, visit How You Can Help for information about donating and volunteering.

Divine Detour: Feeding 3 Experiencing Homelessness

3 men experiencing homelessness eat food given to them by Hope Center Pantry directors

Have any of you ever had a lazy Sunday where the Holy Spirit “nudged” you in a direction different than you wanted to go? Well, that happened on a mid-September Sunday to the directors of the Hope Center Food Pantry. Here’s how it unfolded, as told by Directors Chris and Janice.

Refreshing Water for the Thirsty

This particular Sunday, it was HOT! Plus, it was sticky HUMID! We got done with church, and all we wanted to do was head home to our comfortable air conditioning. But we had done some grocery shopping the previous day and decided to swing by Hope Center Pantry to unload it. No sooner had we backed up to the delivery door than a gentleman appeared around the corner and asked us if we could spare a bottle of water for him. We told him to give us a minute, and we’d bring it around to the client delivery door. We keep water in the refrigerator at the pantry for our volunteers, and we were so happy that we had something cool and refreshing to offer him. When we brought it out, we realized that he was with two other guys who asked for water. They were obviously homeless.

Pre-Packed Bag of Food for the Hungry

After we delivered water to all of three of them, they asked us if we had any food that we could share with them. They were SO HUNGRY! It seemed wrong to tell them to return the next day at 1pm when the pantry was officially open. We just came from church, and it didn’t seem very Christian-like to turn them away! So, we registered them as new pantry clients and gave them each a pre-packed bag that we have ready for our non-sheltered clients. They were beyond ecstatic as they rifled through their bags and saw so many great food options. They joked around that all they needed was a picnic table. We told them they were welcome to stay and eat at the pantry. They did just that. They situated themselves under a tree in the berm and enjoyed their feast!

Assisting Those Experiencing Homelessness

We may have taken a detour to the pantry at the last minute, but there was no doubt the Holy Spirit made sure we were just where we were needed most! Hope Center Pantry serves people who have varied needs, including those experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. To assist Hope Center Pantry in its mission to serve, guide, empower and support those in need, please consider donating money, nonperishable food, garden produce, or personal hygiene supplies. Check out our Wish List for ideas.

Teen’s Community Service Brightens Hope Center Pantry

Teen made cards and a blanket for community service at Hope Center Pantry

An honors student at Pulaski High School found unique ways to fill her community service hours. Ava is a typical busy teen who needed volunteer hours to fulfill her high school graduation requirements and additional hours to maintain her status as an honors student.

Creative Approach to Community Service Hours

She contacted Hope Center Pantry to ask about volunteer opportunities. Ava is very creative and jumped at the opportunity to assemble thank you cards for the Pantry. What a great job she did! She also used some fabric that she on hand to make a large tie blanket that was given as a birthday gift to a teenage daughter of one of the pantry clients. The Pantry is so fortunate to benefit from the talents of this gifted Pulaski teenager. Thank you, Ava!

Pantry Welcomes High School Volunteers

High school students who need community service hours for their school are encouraged to volunteer at Hope Center Pantry. The Pantry has many different ways that teens can help out, both during Pantry hours (1-3pm Monday through Thursday) and after hours. Contact Hope Center Pantry for more information. We’re happy to give you volunteerism ideas to fulfill your school’s community service requirements.