Providing supplemental healthy food options and education for families in need in Fond du Lac County.
This will be accomplished through the support of our donors, education of the public, the continued dedication of our volunteers, and our commitment to our core responsibility of collecting, storing and distributing resources through a network of partners.
We build on local partnerships and continue to establish new ones. Fondy Food Pantry will remain as strong a local force in fighting hunger as is the giving spirit of this community.
More Information is available by calling (920) 322-0369.
Church of Our Saviour
For 37 years Fondy Food Pantry operated out of a small workspace located in the lower level of Church of our Saviour on the corner of Ninth and Main streets in Fond du Lac.
Pantry coordinator Mike Magnussen was forced to shut the pantry down after it flooded twice in one week during the torrential rains that devastated the community in June 2008.
All its food supply was lost, as well as two refrigerators and two freezers.
Members of the congregation and pantry volunteers teamed with the St. Vincent De Paul Society, determined to resurrect the pantry.
Through their hard work and the generosity of Holy Family Parish, temporary space was provided at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Within a few weeks of the flooding, a restocked Fondy Food Pantry was up and running. Jack Braun, director of social ministry for Holy Family Parish, facilitated the reorganization and continued to look for a permanent home for Fondy Food Pantry.
Braun used the food pantry often through his work at St. Vincent De Paul.
“After the flood I was at home cleaning out my own basement, and one of the pastors called me up and said, ‘I heard the food pantry was flooded. Do you think we can do something to help out?’” Braun said.
In November 2008 a working committee was formed and renewed the commitment to continue the work of Fondy Food Pantry.
Father Brian Beno and Terry Hansen-Beno opened the doors of St. Paul’s Cathedral, 51 W. Division St., and welcomed Fondy Food Pantry into its new home.
Due to the dedicated work of volunteers, local service organizations once again had the opportunity to obtain food to assist those in need in Fond du Lac and the surrounding communities.
The Fondy Food Pantry was originally set up as an emergency food program. The board of directors is working hard toward expansion.
“We want to take what has been in place since 1973, branch out and reach as many people as possible,” said Past Board President Sarah Zimmerman.
The goals of the board include increasing direct outreach to children, reaching more families and expanding collaborations with area businesses, churches and community organizations.
Moving Forward . . .
Although the faces of some board members and volunteers have changed over the years, the mission of Fondy Food Pantry is still to see that everyone in Fond du Lac County has access to nutritious food.
Food for Thought started as a pilot program in 2011 with 50 students. Today 680 students receive a small bag of food each weekend during the school year. This represents only 40% of the elementary students in the FDL School District who are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Board members struggled with the fact there was no space to store more food in order to help more students. Furthermore, there was no space for a cooler or walk-in freezer. We were unable to provide clients with fresh produce, meat, eggs, or dairy products.
In October 2016, Sandy Breth, President, and Marsha Lemmenes started visiting other pantries around the state. They visited seven pantries and documented the best practices from each one to create a vision of a new Fondy Food Pantry.
They met with Robert Hartzheim, President of St. Vincent de Paul and Robert Ramstack, past president to discuss the need for more space. Sandy asked Dyann Benson, Community Development Director, if they ever gave funds to help pantries relocate. A few months later she informed us that we were receiving a Community Development Block Grant to renovate a building for pantry use.
After having trouble finding a suitable site, St. Vincent de Paul offered the use of the building they had previously used for their Thrift Store at 573 W. Rolling Meadows Drive. After months of discussion an agreement was signed by Fondy Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul, and the City of Fond du Lac. Fondy Food Pantry will be allowed the use of the building rent free because it benefits St. Vincent de Paul clients. They are also paying for the utilities. Renovation started in December 2017.
After many delays, Fondy Food Pantry moved into the new location at the end of May. In mid July clients started coming to shop at the pantry. By the end of August 1,054 clients had been served. In our first six weeks we have already served 37% of the total number of clients served in all of 2017.