From tax preparation to food boxes and nutritional programs, Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency is still providing services to residents.

“We’ve been kind of changing things up as we go,” said Executive Director Millie Rounsville, but for the most part programs have not been suspended under Wisconsin’s Stay at Home order.

Food

The nonprofit’s food shelf is also open Mondays and Thursdays from 9-11:30 a.m. Pre-made boxes will be distributed in the rear parking lot of the building at 1118 Tower Ave. Additional bulk commodities are still being shipped to the agency. Thursday, March 26, the food shelf received a shipment of milk; the milk will be available Monday along with bulk potatoes.

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Although the Lew Martin Senior Center is closed, seniors can pick up their monthly commodity supplemental nutrition food box if they haven’t already. In response to the COVID-19 restrictions, Rounsville said, NWSCA distributed both the March and April boxes to seniors at the same time. Any senior who missed their box and needs it can call the center to make arrangements to pick it up.

Tax preparation

The nonprofit still offers free tax preparation for eligible residents from 8 a.m. to noon Monday and Thursday at 1118 Tower Ave. People can come in one at a time to drop off their paperwork, which is prepared by volunteers.

“We decided that the tax program is vital. I mean, obviously people want their refunds,” Rounsville said. “We’ve been getting about 20 drop-offs per day.”

There is also a free online tax preparation option available called myfreetaxes.com. The site offers tax preparation and filing of the federal and up to three state returns. This year, Rounsville said, there is no income eligibility requirement to utilize the free service. People can access the site directly or click on the link on the agency’s website.

WIC

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program is still fully operational, as well.

“They can do everything remotely,” Rounsville said, from making appointments to refilling cards. If families with young children and infants have had an income change, they may be eligible for the program, which is still taking clients. Call 715-394-2750 to apply or for more information.

Respite

Memory Lane, which offers day services for adults experiencing dementia, remains open Monday through Wednesday to provide respite care for clients who work in the health care industry.

Shuttered for now

The agency’s free store is closed, and no donations are being taken. There is no programming available at the Lew Martin Senior Center.

The soup kitchen at Solid Rock Safe Haven shelter has also been shut down temporarily, but it has nothing to do with the governor's order. It’s a staffing issue. The cook recently moved to be near family in Milwaukee.

“We have a job posted for a cook for the soup kitchen,” Rounsville said, and once one is hired, they will be able to serve to-go meals.

Four men are currently staying at Solid Rock, she said, but no additional clients are being accepted as maintenance work is being done on the basement sleeping area.

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