Volunteers pack boxes for distribution. Photo by Danielle Boos.
Community Food Bank lends a helping hand

Skyrocketing grocery prices are causing many families to struggle but local community members at Fruit of the Vine are filling in the gap. Fruit of the Vine is a food pantry hosted by Trinity Vineyard Church. It was started over ten years ago by former Pastor Luke Geraty and fellow church members with a shopping cart set out in the back of their Church. Members of Trinity Vineyard Church filled the cart with food items and delivered them to a family in need. As the cart began to fill faster, they began to see their need to expand. What started with a shopping cart to feed one family has grown into a project that feeds over 120 families a month. Fruit of the Vine is now overseen by Pastor Don Hakes and Pastor Brian Peterson and is made possible mainly by donations and volunteers from all over the community. They have seen the community step up and come together in big ways to help those in need. Kwik Trip, Hansen’s IGA and Thorp SuperValu Foods donate items regularly while local groups such as the Stanley FFA, also contribute many food items. Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire provides food and toiletry items weekly to the food pantry. Since the pandemic began, the food pantry has seen a large increase in residents who are struggling but it doesn’t only serve local residents. Fruit of the Vine has served residents from Cadott, Lublin, Fairchild, and even Greenwood. Diane Taylor is a longtime volunteer who is the backbone of Fruit of the Vine. Packing boxes for distribution, she explains the day to day operations of the food pantry. “It gives me a purpose,” she explains when asked why she helps. While Fruit of the Vine doesn’t require identification, they do require a person’s name, what city they live in and how many are in their family. Anyone in need will be helped. “If you’re here and you’re in line, you’re gonna get food,” Diane Taylor says. The food pantry is open for drive up the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 4 pm to 6 pm. They also provide delivery for the elderly and those who are homebound on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. The food pantry is not without its share of difficulty. When food is scarce and most people would begin to worry, volunteer Beth Peterson says, ”We don’t have to worry. God knows what we need.” And God has provided when they least expected it with extra food or finding grants that they didn’t know about. “Since the pandemic we are blessed in so many ways,” Beth smiles. Everyday items that most of us take for granted can make a big difference to someone who is trying to make ends meet. Laundry detergent, diapers, and other toiletries are some of the biggest needs that the food pantry sees. For more information or if you would like to volunteer or donate, contact Fruit of the Vine at 715-2060137.

January 11, 2023