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Food help in many forms

Holiday giving is in full swing in Douglas County. Groups are gearing up to provide food, gifts and joy to children, families and even troops overseas. Many families need more than a seasonal boost, however. For these Douglas County residents, fo...

Holiday giving is in full swing in Douglas County. Groups are gearing up to provide food, gifts and joy to children, families and even troops overseas. Many families need more than a seasonal boost, however. For these Douglas County residents, food assistance can take many forms.

Community meals

There is such a thing as a free lunch in Superior. At Solid Rock Mission, anyone can drop by for a hot meal or two Monday through Saturday. Lunch is served at noon and the dinner bell sounds at 5 p.m. The soup kitchen is at 1004 N. Sixth St. in Superior. There is no cost for the food.

"Just show up and eat," said Millie Rounsville, executive director of Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency, which runs Solid Rock. It’s 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. United Presbyterian Church at 229 N. 28th St. hosts the dinner the third Sunday of the month and First Evangelical Covenant Church, 3311 Hammond Ave., offers the meal the fourth Sunday of the month.

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The Salvation Army hosts a free meal at noon every Sunday and 6 p.m. every Wednesday at 916 Hughitt Ave.; Christian Missionary Alliance invites the community to a free meal from 5:30-7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at 1824 N. Sixth St.

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 from 3:05 -6 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 4-5:30 p.m. at the Peter Rich Center, 1201 N. Eighth St.

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. To receive food, participants must provide a photo ID, and proof of residence for each member of the family.

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.

The Salvation Army’s food shelf is open 1-3 p.m. weekdays at 916 Hughitt Ave. To access the pantry, 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 soap bar 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday and Friday. Residents can only access those pantries once every three months.

County food pantries

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The Rural Care and Share Food Shelf distributes food 9-11:30 a.m. the third Saturday of the month at Peace Lutheran Church, 9523 E. U.S. Highway 2, in Poplar and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 68160 South George St., in Iron River.

In November, the Poplar site served 95 families. Out of the 263 people in those families, 78 were children. Another 74 families received food in Iron River in November.

The Gordon Area Food Shelf distributes food 9 a.m. to noon every Wednesday to residents of Gordon, Solon Springs and Wascott. Between 50 and 60 families receive food monthly, according to food shelf coordinator Joan Connors.

Food distributions

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.

The next distribution date is Saturday.

Ruby’s Pantry in Superior provides a bounty of food for a $20 cash donation. The food distribution takes place the third Thursday of the month at Christ Lutheran Church, 320 N. 28th St. E. In December, however, it will take place Dec. 18. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with distribution beginning at 5 p.m.

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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 .

Related Topics: DOUGLAS COUNTYFOOD
Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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