WEST BEND - The Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend was holding
steady in early fall. It hadnít yet seen the major impact of the
Then came October.
"We had a 20-percent jump (over last October)," said
Lynn Ehren, corporate board member, buyer and co-founder of the
26-year-old, all-volunteer pantry.
Full Shelf serves all of Washington County and is up to 480 to
500 primary visits per month. Primary visits allow clients once a
month to pick up meat, canned fruit and vegetables, soups and other
staples determined years ago with the help of a dietitian. The
pantry sets limits, like three pounds of meat per person per month.
"The average three-person family is going to walk out of
here with 200 pounds of food. Thatís a lot of food," Ehren
Operating Manager and co-founder Larry Ehren, Lynnís husband,
said the better gauge of the economy is the number of secondary
visits, not included in those 200 pounds. Secondary visits are
unlimited and have been on the rise for months.
"That was kind of the indicator to us that things arenít
as good as they used to be," he said.
Full Shelf Food Pantry is at 231 Municipal Drive, West Bend. It
accepts donations Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.,
except for holidays and when the West Bend School District cancels
Homemade pies, jams and other homemade items are not accepted,
nor are deer, due to legal liability. The pantry uses commercial
outlets contracted with the government to provide venison.
Cash is always welcome, and it might not go toward food. The
pantry pays for its own phone, light, heat, landscaping, and upkeep
of its van and forklift.
Donors may sign a book and receive a thank-you note.
For more information, call the pantry at 335-0685.
Pantry clients may pick up food from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. If they
work or are ill, they may designate someone else to pick up their