WAFER serves most families in 2.5 years

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nearly 1,800 hundred families received a food package from WAFER in La Crosse last month.

That's the the highest since January 2012.

Wafer stands for west avenue food emergency resource.

Executive director Erin Waldhart said she thinks the hard winter could be a factor.

“I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that kids are home from school, and parents are now responsible for an additional maybe two meals that would have been provided during the school year,” said Waldhart.

La Crosse School District nutrition supervisor Joni Ralph said nearly 50% of students are on free and reduced lunch.

Ralph says the district also runs a summer meal program Monday through Friday until August 22 where students can get free breakfast and lunch.

“Over the past 10 years we've doubled our breakfast participation in the summer food service program, and we've increased the lunches by 50%,” said Ralph.

Waldhart also said clients at WAFER have mentioned increased food prices, and a reduction to FoodShare benefits or having them cut completely.

We tried contacting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

They sent us an E-mail saying FoodShare benefits are based on your net income and the number of people in your home.

WAFER said it's in need of paper and plastic bags for clients to carry their food in.

“We were completely out of bags last Friday,” said Waldhart.

Waldhart said WAFER is down about 10,000 pounds in food donations compared to last year at this time.

WAFER is looking for food or monetary donations and volunteers.

WAFER is especially in need of tuna, soup and macaroni and cheese.

If you'd like to help contact WAFER at 608-782-6003.

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