Feeding the hungry
While many residents are serving up leftover turkey and pumpkin pie, others are wondering where their next meal will come from. For some, the holidays are a time of scarcity and hunger instead of joy.
A network of free meals and food pantries is available in Superior and Douglas County to provide food to those in need.
There is such a thing as a free lunch in Superior. At Solid Rock Mission, anyone can drop by for a hot meal Monday-Saturday. Lunch is served noon to 12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and the dinner bell sounds at 5 p.m. A free dinner is served 4-5 p.m. Saturday. The soup kitchen is at 1004 N. Sixth St. in Superior. Run by Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency, it is the only active soup kitchen in the entire five-county region the agency covers. Solid Rock has been serving community meals since it opened in 1938.
In the 1980s, Superior churches stepped up to give the soup kitchen staff a day of rest each week. Sunday meals take place at 4 p.m.
On the first, second and fifth Sunday of the month, the free community meal is held at Faith United Methodist Church, 1531 Hughitt Ave. On the third Sunday of the month, the meal is held at United Presbyterian Church, 229 N. 28th St. near the Mariner Mall. First Evangelical Covenant Church, 3311 Hammond Ave., offers the meal the fourth Sunday of the month.
The Salvation Army hosts a free meal at noon every Sunday and 5 p.m. every Wednesday at 916 Hughitt Ave.
The School District of Superior’s food service program provides free evening meals for children younger than age 18 Monday-Friday at three sites in Superior. The meals are served 3:05-5 p.m. in the Superior High school cafeteria, 2600 Catlin Ave., 3:05-5 p.m. in the Superior Middle School cafeteria, 3626 Hammond Ave. and the 4-5 p.m. Boys and Girls Club of Superior at the Virginia Deetz Center, 710 Catlin Ave.
Superior food pantries
Families can get about a week’s worth of food once a month at a number of sites.
Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency hosts a food pantry 1-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1118 Tower Ave. Participants must provide a photo ID, and proof of residence for each member of the family.
The Salvation Army’s food shelf is open 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at 916 Hughitt Ave. Participants must provide a photo ID, proof of income and social security cards for every member of the family. The Salvation Army also hosts a pet pantry and toiletries pantry 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Friday. Residents can only access those pantries once every three months.
Faith United Methodist Church opens its food pantry to Douglas County residents 4-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday at 1531 Hughitt Ave. Participants must bring a photo ID and proof of residence.
Rural food pantries
The Rural Care and Share Food Shelf distributes food 9-11 a.m. the third Saturday of the month at Peace Lutheran Church, 9523 E. U.S. Highway 2, Poplar, and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 68160 South George St., Iron River.
A Southern Douglas County Mobile Food Pantry rolls into the parking lot of the Solon Springs Community Center once a month. The pantry serves residents of southern Douglas County. Distributions run 10-11 a.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month in the community center parking lot, 11523 Business 53.
The Gordon Area Food Shelf, behind the town hall, distributes food 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday to residents of Gordon, Solon Springs and Wascott.
In addition to free help, there are two programs in Douglas County that allow anyone to stretch their food dollars. There are no income limits or residence requirements. Participants can get as many shares as they choose. The distributions take on a Christmas-like air for participants, because the list of food they receive changes each month. Both programs bring surplus corporate food to people who can use it, fighting hunger while preventing waste. Participants are asked to bring baskets, bags and boxes to carry the food home in.
Sharing One’s Surplus is held the second Saturday of the month at Mission Covenant Church, 6161 S. County Road P, Poplar. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with distribution starting about 10 a.m. A $25 cash donation is requested per share.
Ruby’s Pantry in Superior provides a bounty of food for a $20 cash donation. The food distribution takes place the fourth Thursday of the month at Christ Lutheran Church, 320 N. 28th St. E. except in November and December, when it takes place the third Thursday of the month.
A number of Ruby’s Pantry distributions take place in Duluth, as well. A full list of distribution sites, dates and times is available at www.rubyspantry.org.