The holidays always bring a different set of feelings for everyone. One thing that we can all agree on is we look forward to the food. There is nothing better than the delicious treats we can share with our friends and families on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The sad reality of this is not everyone has the same access to food. For some families, the holidays signal a time of struggle and hardship.
At United Way of Whitewater Valley, we believe that everyone deserves the same access to health, including food security. We are a supporter of multiple organizations working to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable residents in our community. Organizations are working in both Wayne and Union counties to ensure that families of our community are well-fed. Especially during the holiday’s food pantries in Wayne County and Union County are making sure that families can enjoy a pleasant holiday meal.
Food Pantries in Wayne County: Circle U Thanksgiving Dinner
One organization providing over 1,600 hot meals every month to individuals in Wayne County is Circle U. Circle U is known for providing hot meals to individuals struggling in Wayne County. This access to a meal is a security net for individuals who may not know where their next meal is coming from. Having access to a hot meal is a luxury that not everyone in Wayne County has, which is why Circle U is making such a significant impact. For their hours of operation, learn more here. Not only do they provide hot meals, but they also have a food pantry. For the days and hours of operation, click here.
Since 1979, Circle U has been reliant on helpful volunteers to ensure that they can provide hot meals. If you are considering volunteering this holiday season, Circle U hosts a thanksgiving dinner meal. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and get into the holiday spirit. The event is always a heartwarming and well-attended meal. We love to see the support that our community has for each other, and the smiles on everyone’s faces are infectious. For more information about the Circle U Thanksgiving Dinner, visit their website.
Food Pantries in Wayne County: Gateway Hunger Relief Center
Circle U is not the only organization providing meals to the community. Gateway Hunger Relief Center also provides food supplies to those who are in need. Gateway works daily to reduce the hunger needs and improve food security for families in Wayne County. During the height of the pandemic last fall, they were able to provide food to more than 3,232 families in one month. They also provide more than 500 hundred children with food bags delivered right to their doorstep. Not only do they provide food for families who can attend one of their drive-through events they also provide for seniors who may not be able to leave their homes due to COVID-19 or other obstacles. For more information about delivery services, visit their website.
As with all great nonprofits, Gateway also needs fantastic volunteers and donors. You have the chance to support up to ten families with a monthly donation. Your support for local nonprofits is a way for you to support the community. We understand giving is not always easy, but you can never go wrong when supporting your community. Learn more about sponsoring a family or volunteering on the Gateway Hunger Relief Center website.
Food Pantries in Union County
There are also multiple food pantry options for those living in Union County. In Union County, you can find the Gleaners Mobile Pantry, The Corner Market and The College Corner Pantry. The Gleaners Mobile Pantry is located at the Union County Fairgrounds; call for more information about dates and times. You can find the College Corner Pantry on 33 Junction Street if you are interested in volunteering or donating; get in contact with them!
During the summer, Union County Public Library provides free lunches to kids/students and seniors, keep an eye out in 2022 for more information. Follow them on social media or learn more about them in our recent nonprofit spotlight. Food security is essential, and it is directly tied to our focus area, access to health. Keep reading to learn more about our focus areas.
Partnership and Collaboration
Each of the organizations that we support through grants impacts the community in one of our four focus areas. None of them are more important than others because each one of them is crucial. Everyone has problems, but some of the most vulnerable residents need some extra support, and that is where our agency partners come in. They each work daily to provide essential support and resources to individuals all over Wayne and Union counties.
Here at United Way of Whitewater Valley, we cannot stress enough how vital our agency partners are to the community. They are the security net that stands between many families and utter poverty. We have so many other fantastic program partners working in our four focus areas: childhood success, youth success, economic mobility, and access to health. Read more about their stories here, or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we do at United Way of Whitewater Valley.