Pre-planning helps with school, meal service cancellations

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- While many kids and even adults may cheer at the announcement of a snow day, other may see it a little differently. That’s because thousands of people in the Chippewa Valley depend on food assistance.

“I think for some children, that's not, maybe not their first thought because of knowing that they won't have the lunch they're used to at school,” says Emily Moore, Executive Director at Feed My People Food Bank.

And with Eau Claire County’s Meals on Wheels deliveries cancelled for seniors, snow days can become more of a challenge, than a celebration.

Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire serves over 2,000 students in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls school district, providing them meals on the weekends. The Eau Claire County ADRC’s Meals on Wheels Program provides around 350 seniors with meals.

So how do the organizations manage on snow days like Monday?

The food bank works with the ADRC providing emergency food boxes for seniors.

“[We] just sent one out a couple weeks ago that had canned chicken canned tuna, oatmeal, and products that would be useful on a day like today,” explains Moore.

“So If we do have to cancel, we know that individual should have access to food that day.” Jennifer Speckien, Eau Claire County ADRC Director.

For students on the Weekend kid’s Meal Program, the food bank plans ahead, putting extra food into the students’ bags on Friday.

Both organizations rely heavily on volunteers, like Dave Stratton.

“The food pantries count on us, and so it's important to get out there and do it,” says Stratton, a volunteer driver with Feed My People Food Bank. “I just know that there are people out there in need and I'm glad I'm a part of it.”

“People need to know that we are out for them and we are taking care of our neighbors throughout the community,” says Speckien.

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