The City of Stoughton’s Food Pantry Mission Statement and Policy is to assist those in need of food who reside in the Stoughton Area School District.
The City of Stoughton Food Pantry follows state and federal guidelines on income levels to qualify for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) or commodities distribution.
Emergency food is available even if a person or family is not eligible under these income guidelines. Emergency food is available from the City of Stoughton Food Pantry no more than four (4) times a year. In addition, a referral will be made to other area agencies that may be able to provide further assistance.
The Pantry’s first priority is providing food. The second priority is providing personal care and hygiene items when they are available.
The Mission Statement and Policy were approved by the Stoughton City Council on March 26, 2002.
What does the Food Pantry Provide?
What is a Food Pantry?
A food pantry is a safety net where needy households, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age or disability, can obtain a seven day supply of food. Food pantries are located in churches, town halls, neighborhood centers and social services agencies. They are operated as a voluntary service of their sponsoring organizations. Each food pantry is run independently and sets its own guidelines, including, but not limited to, screening of applicants, established usage policies, referral policies, and the number of days for which they are able to provide meals. Most food pantries are flexible in cases of true emergencies in regard to its set policies.
The City of Stoughton Food Pantry
The City of Stoughton Food Pantry, hereafter referred to as ‘the pantry’, is run by the City of Stoughton, Wisconsin with a team of approximately 25 dedicated volunteers who staff the pantry. The City of Stoughton provides our space in the Municipal Utilities Building. Pantry food and other costs such as telephone come from donations to the Pantry.
Items Provided by the Pantry
Clients have a basic supply of food and personal items. We are a client choice pantry. Provisions are made, as much as possible, for those with special dietary needs. We estimate that the food provides meals for approximately seven days.
Some of the standard food items we try to provide include: soup, tuna, canned vegetables and fruits, pork and beans, canned meals (stews, ravioli, etc), peanut butter, jelly, pancake mix and syrup, spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, canned chicken, instant potatoes or rice, soda crackers, jello and pudding, muffin mixes, and cereal. We also provide meats, milk, butter/margarine, eggs, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products when available. Personal items, including hand soap and toilet paper, are also provided. The pantry will provide about 7-10 days of food for a typical family. Depending on family size a household may receive 60 – 200 lbs of food. A household may utilize the pantry once each month.
An attempt will be made to provide sugar free and gluten free foods that will be kept separate from other donated items. Also, low sodium and low sugar foods will be provided as much as possible.
Items we can sometimes provide as a result of donations include ‘extras’ such as baking supplies, ketchup, mayonnaise, gravies, coffee, tea, Oriental and Mexican foods, pie filling, beans (kidney, black, white, etc), small individual snacks (juice boxes, granola bars, etc), and large snacks (cake mixes, crackers, nuts, etc).
Hygiene and personal care items, when donated, include such items as toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, disposable razors, lotions, tissues, diapers, paper towels, napkins, laundry products, and dish soap.
Food and produce vouchers to Stoughton’s Pick ‘N Save are also available.
Where Does the Food Come From?
We receive food items on a weekly basis from the Community Action Coalition (CAC). We also receive food via The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) once a month. Items donated to the CAC are shared among all Dane County Food Pantries. In the summer and fall we receive seasonal items such as fresh fruits and vegetables from area farmers and gardeners.
In addition, we receive non-perishable food donations and monetary contributions from local churches, businesses, schools, organizations, and numerous individuals. Items that are needed in addition to the donated items are purchased from Aldi’s and other area stores.
Who do we Serve?
The City of Stoughton Food Pantry serves residents in the Stoughton Wisconsin School District. Clients include those who have lost jobs, experienced lay-offs, have disabilities, have been involved in accidents and are temporarily unable to work, or are working part or full time and still cannot make ends meet. All clients must meet income eligibility guidelines set by TEFAP.
The City of Stoughton Food Pantry does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.
USDA Statement on Discrimination
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint form found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax at (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer”