Food pantry reps pictured with the “big” check for $12,000 from the Pierce Pepin Operation Round Up® program: Jennifer Thatcher (Hunger Prevention Council), Candice Anderson (River Falls Food Pantry), Chris Tackmann (Pierce Pepin Coop), Joan Nabbefeld (Plum City Pantry), and Nolan DeMarce (Elmwood Food Pantry). Submitted photo
Food pantry reps pictured with the “big” check for $12,000 from the Pierce Pepin Operation Round Up® program: Jennifer Thatcher (Hunger Prevention Council), Candice Anderson (River Falls Food Pantry), Chris Tackmann (Pierce Pepin Coop), Joan Nabbefeld (Plum City Pantry), and Nolan DeMarce (Elmwood Food Pantry). Submitted photo

Submitted by Liz Gunderson, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services

ELLSWORTH, WI – Members of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services are helping stock Pierce and Pepin County food shelves through the co-op’s Operation Round Up program. Eight food pantries were each awarded $1,500 at the board’s October meeting—Pierce County Food Pantry, Elmwood Food Pantry, Plum City Food Pantry, Prescott Area Food Shelf, River Falls Food Pantry, Spring Valley Community Food Pantry, Pepin County Food Pantry and Pepin-Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran-Food Pantry. The donations were presented to pantry representatives during the regional Hunger Prevention Council meeting on October 17.

“Local food shelves are working hard to help those in need put food on the table, often with few resources themselves,” said Larry Dokkestul, Pierce Pepin’s President and CEO.  “With the holidays approaching, the board acted to make these timely donations on behalf of Pierce Pepin members.”

The impact of cash donations to the food pantries is significant.  “For every $1 donated, Pierce County Food Pantries are able to provide four meals,” said Jennifer Thatcher, Executive Director, Hunger Prevention Council.  “On a dollar-for-dollar conversion, $1 donated equates to $5 in food purchases for our pantries.”

Operation Round Up is funded by participating Pierce Pepin members who round up their electric bills to the nearest dollar each month, or donate a specific dollar amount.  The program provides charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations that offer programs and support projects to enhance the quality of life for those within the communities served by the cooperative. 

Operation Round Up grants are awarded quarterly by the Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services Board of Directors. Nonprofit organizations interested in applying may visit piercepepin.coop or call 800-924-2133 for information. The next application deadline is December 15.