Stockbox program helps central Wisconsin seniors

A program that helps seniors with food insecurity is gaining ground in central Wisconsin.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 8:20 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - A program that helps seniors with food insecurity is gaining ground in central Wisconsin. It started less than a year ago in Portage County and is already making a difference to people in need.

It’s called the Stockbox program. Several counties in central Wisconsin now participate including Portage, Marathon and Wood.

People 60-years-old or older that fall into a certain income bracket can pick up a box of non-perishable food items. It’s a team effort to help feed the mouths of older adults with limited access to food. Something many can’t wait to get.

“I think the hardest thing is waiting in line,” Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Portage County Nutrition Program Assistant Cindy Swan said.

Several volunteers gave out at least 40 Stockboxes to seniors at the ADRC of Portage County on Monday.

“Today, we had more than we’ve had before, so it’s catching on,” volunteer Lynne Patrick said.

The Stockboxes are filled with grocery items like cereal, rice, juice, vegetables, protein and much more. It’s a way to give back to a population, perhaps otherwise forgotten about and on their own.

“If we didn’t help them, there would be no way for them to get food probably and they would be sitting in their houses or their apartments and starving probably,” Patrick said.

The giving of the food means a healthy and balanced meal, with a goal to serve as many seniors as possible.

“We want everyone to be fed and healthy as they age. There’s over 1,200 seniors that are low income and have food insecurities,” Swan said.

Food is provided by the Hunger Task Force out of Milwaukee. With the help of a grant from Marshfield Clinic, Central Rivers Farmshed, a non-profit that works with area farms is able to provide fresh produce during the growing season to Stockbox.

“So to have a community that believes in not just having food, but having nourishing food on top of that is just a way to enhance a resource,” Central Rivers Farmshed Executive Director Trevor Drake said.

The Stevens Point Stockbox giveaway happens on the third Monday of each month at the ADRC from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. They hope to expand the program to rural areas in the future.

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