Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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A holiday helping

by Lisa Seiser

November 17, 2011

Area residents Frank Guske, Ardith Drescher, Jeremy Kinsey and Matt Stinebrink were gathered at the front desk of the W.C. Resource Center and Food Pantry last Tuesday night.

They agreed that many in the community are desperately in need, and they were going to figure out a way to help even more people this holiday season.

"The people need help," Stinebrink said.

Guske admits the economic problems plaguing so many are worse than he could have ever imagined.

Guske, the leader of the local Boy Scouts, Drescher who runs the pantry, Kinsey a past president of the Lake Geneva Jaycees and Stinebrink from Piggly Wiggly have teamed up to help those in need this holiday season to provide turkey dinners.

But, they aren't doing it all themselves. They're asking the community to join in.

Until Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, people can go to Stinebrink's Piggly Wiggly in Lake Geneva and donate to purchase turkey dinners, which will then be given to the W.C. Food Pantry for delivery.

The complete dinners are $29.99, but people can contribute as much as they would like. The dinners include a whole turkey and all the fixings.

Then, the Lake Geneva Jaycees will match a turkey dinner for every one bought, up to 100 total. Stinebrink's also will donate a bakery pumpkin pie for every dinner. At the checkout, customers can make their donations.

Guske, who has been helping with the pantry since before it was opened by Sal Dimiceli and Jim Drescher, said many in the community are in need and that tends to escalate during the holiday season. He said last Christmas Eve when the pantry was open, 101 families showed up to collect food.

Ardith Drescher said those coming to the food pantry the past few weeks have been asking if there will be turkeys.

Guske said this is one way to help and provide people with a dinner that can last them for more than one day.

"The need is huge," he said.

Drescher said in a given month, the W.C. Pantry serves 500 families, or about 1,200 people total.

Guske believes some in the community are unaware of the extreme need in the area.

"Everyone in this town should get a taste of it," he said. "A few people are removed from reality."

That's one reason why he brings his scouts to the pantry to help pack bags as part of their community service.

But, those bags aren't as easy to fill recently. He said the pantry once had plenty of food, but now not so much, which is why there is a need for the turkey dinners.

He said there is no longer enough food from the federal program Second Harvest, now known as Feeding America, which was providing food for pantries at a cost of 19 cents per pound. He said that was provided through federal stimulus funds and now that those funds are gone and so is the food.

Guske said he is thankful for the local community and businesses which are so giving and helpful to the pantry and those in need.

"We need people to pitch in because our government is not here to help," Guske said. "We are going to have to take care of our people."

Guske said the idea for the turkey dinners was Stinebrink's, who also is a member of the Jaycees.

"This is a good opportunity for people to get involved for a good cause," he said.

Any businesses interested in participating in this special effort should contact Mike Fryar or Dave Stinebrink at Piggly Wiggly at (262) 248-8798.