Not So Cumbersome: Bellin Health Bags Are Perfect for Singles

Bellin Health cinch Bags donated to Hope Center Pantry

Hope Center Pantry volunteers are wizards at implementing solutions to food distribution issues. For example, the pantry considered different ways to make it easier for individuals to carry bags when they walk or bike to Hope Center Pantry. Have you ever tried to balance a paper grocery bag filled with food on a bike? It’s a challenge! Plus, grocery bags become quite heavy to carry even a short distance. Paper grocery bags are cumbersome to transport and if their handles tear, they’re even more cumbersome.

Donation from Bellin Health

Acknowledging the challenges of paper bags for food transportation, Hope Center Pantry contacted the folks that organize the Bellin Run and other races. The Bellin Run is a 10K race held the second Saturday in June that attracts more than 10,000 walkers, runners, and wheelchair participants. Bellin Health and the Green Bay Packers formed a partnership in 2012 to create Titletown Wellness. In addition to organizing the Bellin Run, Titletown Wellness hosts other running events in the spring and fall. So, when we contacted Bellin about donating bags for groceries, they provided over 300 cinch bags that were left over from the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon. Bellin Health consistently comes through to support community needs, and Hope Center Pantry is thankful for the health system’s generosity.

Durable, Reusable Singles Bags for Food

The Bellin Health cinch bags work great for packing “singles bags.” A singles bag is just what it sounds like. It is packed with food amounts for our clients that only have one person in their household.
The bags are durable and can easy to carry like a backpack, which is especially beneficial for clients who walk or ride their bike to collect their food from Hope Center Pantry. It is an understatement to say that these sturdy bags are an immense improvement over paper bags. As an added bonus, clients can reuse these bags for other purposes.

The Pantry is always in need of donations. View our Wish List for ideas today.

Pioneer Metal Finishing’s 2-Fold Gift: Food Drive & Professional Flier

Pioneer Metal Finishing

Download the Hope Center Pantry Flier

In a technology-driven world, you wouldn’t think that a printed brochure would be of much use. Yet Hope Center Pantry finds great value in its professional flier and the relationships the pantry built when developing the flier.

2 Donations from Pioneer Metal Finishing

Hope Center Pantry partnered with Pioneer Metal Finishing to produce the professional flier. Pioneer Metal Finishing is a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based custom metal finishing company with 11 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. A Pioneer Metal Finishing employee created the flier on behalf of Hope Center Pantry. The Pioneer Metal Finishing team was so impressed with Hope Center Pantry’s professionalism and how quickly the Pantry published the brochure on its website. In fact, Pioneer Metal Finishing donated its company’s December 2021 collection of nonperishable food to Hope Center Pantry. The pantry is so grateful for both charitable gestures.

Pantry Brochure Printed in English & Spanish

Because Northeast Wisconsin is home to many Hispanic families, Hope Center Pantry wanted to publish the brochure in both English and Spanish. Hope Center Pantry worked with the Green Bay Area Public School District staff to translate the English text to Spanish. This is just another example of a mutually beneficial relationship sustained by Hope Center Pantry. Read how Hope Center Pantry provides family meal kits to help parents who struggle to feed their kids.

Outreach to Green Bay & Brown County WI

Hope Center Pantry distributes the flier to:

Sponsor a Corporate Food Drive

The brochure concisely communicates information about Hope Center Pantry services, hours of operation, and eligibility requirements. Additionally, the flier sends the message that the pantry is professional, forward-looking nonprofit organization. Hope Center Pantry is grateful to Pioneer Metal Finishing for its generosity and encourages other Green Bay corporations to follow suit. Please consider sponsoring a corporate food drive or contributing to the pantry in some other way. Here is our Wish List of current needs.

What a Joy to See! Gift Bags Bring Extra Smiles

Gift bag from Feeding America given to clients.
Gift bag from Feeding America given to clients.

Volunteering at Hope Center Pantry is so rewarding, but a couple of experiences really make volunteering worthwhile. We wish everyone could experience the joy that a Christmas-time gift bag brought to our female clients. In December 2021 we gave 45 gift bags to our female clients. These were nicely boxed gift sets of pump body lotion and soap that we received for free from Feeding America. The clients were so appreciative that it really made us feel good about the work we do at the pantry.

Christmas & Birthday Gift Bags

Christmas only comes once a year, and the same goes for birthdays. You should see a child’s face light up when they see a birthday bag included with their family’s food. It’s priceless! Two Green Bay soccer teams made it possible. The high school girls’ soccer teams kicked it up a notch with their Hope Center Pantry donation! Girls from the Notre Dame Academy and Southwest High School girls’ soccer teams filled 101 birthday bags and donated them to Hope Center Pantry.

Birthday gift bags donated to Hope Center Pantry from high school soccer teams.
Birthday gift bags donated to Hope Center Pantry from high school soccer teams.

101 Cake Mixes, Frosting, Candles & Gifts

Each bag contained a cake mix, frosting, candles and an age-appropriate gift. Panty volunteers distribute the birthday gift bags to families with children age 10 and under for their birthday month. The clients were thrilled to have these items to make their child’s birthday feel more special.

Making Birthdays Extra Special

As a nice addition to the birthday bags, Hope Center Pantry gives each child a Beanie Baby. A generous pantry supporter donated a bunch of Beanie Babies to the pantry. When volunteers grab a gift bag for a child, they also grab one of these Beanie Babies to add to the bag. It makes their birthday extra special!

Donations Matter: New Laptop Computer Now Supporting Pantry’s Mission

a laptop computer  the Hope Center Pantry uses for a database.
McMahon Associates, an engineering company in Neenah, donated a laptop computer to the Hope Center Pantry to use for a database.

Our sincere thanks to McMahon Associates, an engineering company in Neenah, for the donation of a laptop computer to the Hope Center Pantry to use for our database. Why would a Neenah company located 35 miles from Green Bay donate to the Hope Center Pantry? Because Chris Clemens was a McMahon Associates employee for over 35 years. Chris and Janice Clemens are the current Hope Center Pantry directors. While working for McMahon Associates, Chris noticed that the company provided generous donations to nonprofit organizations in Northeast Wisconsin.

Donation from McMahon Associates

Matt Greely, Executive President of McMahon Associates, said the company was happy to help Hope Center Pantry fulfill its mission. The mission of Hope Center is to serve and guide those who are in need. It is our responsibility to empower and support others.

How the Pantry Uses the Computer Database

The donated computer syncs with the internet so database backups are done automatically. Additionally, Hope Center Pantry converted the database from Works to Excel. The pantry prepared all of the new documentation and trained volunteers in database entry. Lastly, the pantry worked with reporting genius to update all of the end-of-month/quarter reports using the new database. These reports produce the numbers that the pantry submits periodically to Feeding America and the Brown County Food and Hunger Network. Both of these organizations provide a large amount of the food that the Hope Center Pantry distributes to clients.

Improving Pantry Operations & Effectiveness

The panty also distributes the reports to the Hope Center Board, to keep the board up-to-date on the pantry’s client base. The panty also uses information from the database to apply for grants. Recently, the pantry started collecting an additional piece of data, using the new database. The pantry collects the email address of each client. Thus, the panty can notify clients about updates and forward information to them that might be beneficial.

Be a Donor, Like McMahon Associates

Bringing all of the pantry’s data up to current technology was a huge undertaking that is so beneficial to pantry operations. We truly appreciate donors like McMahon Associates, Neenah. If your company would like to make a donation to the Hope Center Pantry, please visit How You Can Help

3 Ways You Can Help Hope Center Pantry

  1. Select Food or Personal Care Items from the Wish List
  2. Drop off a Donation at a Catholic Church on the West Side of Green Bay
  3. Become a Volunteer, 1-3pm Monday – Thursday

“Thanks to Janice and Chris Clemens for your service to the community. You guys are awesome!”

Matt Greely, Executive President of McMahon Associates

Family Meal: We Help Parents Who Struggle to Feed Their Kids

Ingredients for Pizza Mac and Cheese, a meal kit that Hope Center Pantry provides once a month
The Hope Center Pantry provides meal kits and recipes to families once a month, like this Pizza Mac and Cheese meal kit.

With such an abundance of food in the U.S. today, no child should go hungry. Yet 34 million people in the U.S. are food insecure, including 9 million children, according the Feeing America. Hope Center Pantry is doing something about these troubling statistics by preparing family meal kits.

Social Benefits of a Family Meal

Today’s families are busy, no doubt! Preparing and eating family meals together takes time and effort. But the benefits of regularly gathering around the table for a family meal are worth the effort. 7 Science-Based Benefits of Eating Together as a Family. Families who prepare and eat a meal together benefit from the social interaction of a shared meal. Research shows that having the family involved in meal preparation increases fruit and vegetable intake. In addition, family meals provide a sense of togetherness and security that helps nurture children into well-rounded, healthy adults. Family dinners have a positive impact on children’s personal identity, self-esteem, values, and motivation.

Meal Kits for Green Bay Families

Hope Center Pantry is a Christian-based nonprofit ministry that strongly encourages family time and family meals. The pantry partners with Annie Jackson Elementary in Green Bay to provide the ingredients for a full, nutritious meal families in need. Starting in September 2021, and throughout the 2022-23 school year, the pantry created “meal kits” for a family of four. These meal kits are orchestrated through their school counselor who has a team of 50 students that help pack and distribute the meals once a month. Additionally, the school has a mini pantry available called Hunger Heroes.

Food & Recipes for Hungry Kids

The families pre-register for the meal, and they receive meal recipes in both English and Spanish. The pantry includes an English/Spanish flyer with each meal kit, so families know about the pantry’s location and services. One month, the pantry provided 33 meals – enough food to feed 132 parents and children at a family meal. Pizza Mac and Cheese is one example of a meal kit, with all ingredients provided.

Collaborating with Green Bay School Counselors

To spread the word Hope Center Pantry, we contacted school counselors in the Green Bay School District, sharing information about our pantry and other food pantries in Brown County. We encouraged the counselors to send information home with students whose families have a need for our services.
One of the school counselors from Eisenhower Elementary in Green Bay stops by Hope Center Pantry periodically to pick up food to give families with children in the school. The children’s parents don’t have cars to travel to the pantry, so the counselor cheerfully delivers their food right to their door!

Panty Serves Families with Children

Together, we are serving families and children in need in the Green Bay community. Children who have enough to eat perform better at school and have a better chance of growing into healthy teens and adults. We’re grateful to everyone who volunteers, donates, and advocates for Hope Center Pantry, to feed kids and families who are hungry. Contact us to learn more about the ways you can contribute to our mission.

Paper Products Donation: Could it Be Heaven Sent?

pallet of Paper Products Donation from Bedford Paper

Coincidence or divine intervention? I’ll let you be the judge. In July 2021, Sister Marla Clercx, pastoral leader at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, announced that the Hope Center Pantry needed paper products. Seated in the church that day was an employee of Bedford Paper in De Pere. He knew the company would want to support such a wonderful cause. So, he arranged to have several pallets of paper towels and toilet paper donated to Hope Center Pantry in 2021 and again in 2022.

Bedford Paper Donates Paper Products

The panty appreciates this kind and generous gesture by Bedford Paper. Bedford Paper is a manufacturer of single-use folded towels, roll towels, and bath tissue. With these donations, the pantry has been able to offer paper towels to all clients. Additionally, the pantry includes toilet paper in each box/bag. The clients are especially grateful for these paper products as these items cannot be purchased with their Food Shares/Food Stamps allotted money. Bedford Paper sales and marketing manager said the company is super-excited to hear that Hope Center Pantry clients are getting good use out of these donated paper products.

7 Churches Support Hope Center Pantry

So, is this a coincidence or divine intervention? St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is one of the west-side Green Bay churches that supports the work of Hope Center Pantry. Other churches contributing financial support for the pantry’s day-to-day operations are the Quad Parishes of Annunciation, St. Joseph, St. Jude and St. Patrick, along with Nativity of Our Lord Church and St. Agnes Church. Other churches, organizations, and individuals also support the pantry. They provide monetary and material donations and volunteerism. The pantry is operated solely by volunteers.

Fulfill a Wish on the Pantry’s Wish List

Because the need is so great, Hope Center Pantry is always looking for volunteers, food donations and non-food donations. To view our Wish List and other ways to contribute the panty’s mission, visit the How You Can Help page.

Hope Center Pantry Helps Kids & Families at Homeless Shelter

Family of dad and 2 kids

Hope Center Pantry is a steadfast partner of Freedom House Ministries. Freedom House, located on the East Side of Green Bay, assists families with dependent children who are experiencing homelessness. Freedom House, an emergency homeless shelter, can accommodate 16 families and assigns each family a room based on the family’s size. These three testimonials describe the powerful and life-changing experience that Freedom House residents experience.

I learned how it feels to live an abuse-free life, and I found my voice again.

Freedom House resident

Freedom House isn’t just a shelter, it’s a home full of happiness.

Freedom House resident

Freedom House changed our lives.

Freedom House resident
Freedom House logo

Freedom House, Green Bay

Freedom House provides residents with:

  • Meals & snacks
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Childcare support
  • Classes in parenting, employability skills, budgeting & independent living

Every family leaves the shelter with an individualized budget and an understanding of the qualities of a good tenant.

Homeless Shelter for Families with Children

Freedom House moved into a new location at 2997 St. Anthony Drive, Green Bay, in March 2020 and assisted 564 people in its first six months. Since opening in 1992, the homeless shelter has helped thousands of families and children. A majority of residents successfully journey to self-sufficiency and independence. Overall, Freedom House helps families become more independent and break the cycle of poverty. To assist with this goal, Hope Center Pantry donates food to the homeless shelter, to help those who are homeless in the community.

Food Donations for Nonprofits in Green Bay

Freedom House Ministries was overjoyed to receive food donations from Hope Center Pantry. The panty provided pasta, “helpers,” canned fruit, dental floss, powdered drink mixes and children’s snacks. Hope Center Pantry is committed to assisting Freedom House Ministries and other nonprofit agencies in Brown County by utilizing our talented, dedicated volunteers and surplus of food. Join us in our mission to to serve and guide those who are in need. It is our responsibility to empower and support others. Contact us to learn how.

Source of quotes:

Be Prepared: Boy Scouts Collect Nonperishable Food Every April

The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” takes on a new meaning every spring when the scouts gift our pantry with multiple pallets of nonperishable food. Three pallets were donated in 2022! Four pallets were donated in 2023! With hundreds of pounds of nonperishable food, the panty will “Be Prepared” to feed hundreds of children, adults, and families who are hungry. The pantry storage room at Hope Center Pantry, 505 Clinton St., Green Bay, is well-stocked every April after Scouting for Food.

boxes of food collected by Scouting for Food in April to fill Hope Center Pantry shelves
Boy Scouts of the Bay-Lakes Council run Scouting for Food in April to collect nonperishable food door-to-door. They help fill Hope Center Pantry’s shelves.

Green Bay Boy Scouts Food Drive

Scouting for Food has been a Scouting tradition in the Boy Scouts Bay-Lakes Council for 35 years. Here’s how Scouting for Food works. On a Saturday in mid-April, Boy Scouts distribute door hangers in their neighborhoods announcing a food drive for nonperishables. Then, a week later, the Scouts return to these homes and pick up food donations that people leave by their front door. The food is then distributed to local food banks and pantries, like Hope Center Pantry on the West Side of Green Bay. Scouting for Food is a remarkable community service project making a healthy difference for those in need.

Well-Stocked with Nonperishable Food

Hope Center Pantry, Green Bay, is so appreciative of this door-to-door food drive every year. When the pantry is well-stocked with nonperishable foods, the pantry directors don’t need to use donated funds to purchase these food items. Instead, monetary donations can be allocated elsewhere to help those in need.

Thanks to All Involved in Scouting for Food

Thanks to all the Boy Scouts, Scout leaders and their families for participating in Scouting for Food. Also, thanks to the Hope Center Pantry volunteers who sort the pallets of food the pantry receives. With enough volunteers, we can sort the nonperishable food donations in record time!