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					 When did the Pantry start?                     How often can people come to                 How do I sign up to volunteer?
  The Pantry began from a discussion group        the Pantry?                                   The best thing to do is to talk with
  at a Sunday morning learning session in         People can come as often as they need to,     Christine Thompson, the Pantry
  May 2006. On Sunday, the idea was               as many times as they need to. We             Coordinator. You can call her at 608-
  proposed; by Thursday, the shelves were         maintain control of the inventory with a      772-346 or 608-628-3189, send an e-mail
  up; the next Thursday, the Pantry               computer program that knows how often a       to her at Coordiantor@pepartnership.net,
  accepted its first two households.              household can have what, based on the         or stop by most weekdays between 8:00
                                                  household make-up (adult men, adult           and 4:00.
 Why does the Pantry exist?                      women, children, children 3 or under) and
  We believe in the promise of God’s              size, and that household’s shopping          When and where can we drop
  kingdom as a reality for today, and that in     history.                                      off donations?
  God’s kingdom there is enough for                                                             Donations can generally be dropped off
  everyone to live a full and abundant life.     Is there a “typical” household?               Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:00. We
  As people who have been blessed by God,         No – we have everything from single           suggest that you avoid Thursdays between
  we in turn seek to bless others.                individuals to households of 13; single-      11:00 and 3:00 (that’s our busiest time),
                                                  parent families to families with both         and that you call first to be sure that
 How many households does the                    parents, and aunts and uncles and             someone will be available.
  Pantry serve?                                   grandparents. The only thing typical
  The number is constantly growing; as of         about the families we serve is that they     Are donations tax-deductible?
  January 2011, we’re serving almost 3,000        need us.                                      Yes – the Personal Essentials Pantry is a
  households, and increasing by 10-25                                                           not-for-profit entity under the rules of the
  households each week.                          Where does the Pantry                         IRS. All donations are tax deductible.
                                                  get its supplies?
 How many households does the                    We get a lot – about a third – of our        How much of my donation goes
  Pantry see every week?                          products from in-kind donations. We get       to stock?
  We see between 80 and 120 households            some – about 5-10% – from area                Almost all of it. We do have some
  every week – usually 20-30 households           foodbanks such as Second Harvest and          overhead costs – we use a lot of paper in
  on Sunday, and 60-85 households on              Community Action Coalition, which             printing the guest shopping list, and there
  Thursday. We receive 10-25 new                  funnel contributions from companies and       are other general running expenses and
  households each week.                           individuals for distribution through          the Coordinator’s salary – but 80-90% of
                                                  individual pantries such as ours. Some –      the monies we receive goes to buying
 Who can come to the Pantry?                     about 60% – we buy directly. We try to        products for distribution.
  Anyone in need in the greater Madison           balance cost, environmental
  area, extending to all of Dane County and       responsibility, and fiscal responsibility    Who supports the Pantry –
  beyond. We don’t restrict service based         (while we don’t want to spend more than       where does the funding come
  on geographic region or ZIP code. (Note:        necessary, we don’t want to support           from?
  There are now other agencies in the             suppliers who do not pay a living wage).      Much of the support comes from the
  PEPartnership; some of the partnership                                                        members of the Zion congregation and the
  agencies may restrict on the basis of ZIP                                                     community at large. In addition, we seek
  code.)                                                                                        funding from variety of foundations.
  Thrivent Financial for Lutherans was a          pay attention to try to ensure that our
  major donor in 2007, and we had a grant         procedures and paperwork can be used by
  from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in         other agencies. Our inventory control           Personal
  America (ELCA) in 2009 and 2010. We             software, for example, is written in public
  also received a grant from the Madison          domain, open source software, so we can         Essentials
  Community Foundation in 2010 to
  establish the PEPartnership. Without the
                                                  give it away to anyone who wants it.
                                                                                                   Pantry
  help of the general community, however,        Do you make provision for
  we could not do what we do.                     people who don’t speak English?
                                                  We can print shopping lists for our guests
 Are there other pantries doing                  in Spanish, Hmong, and French for guests
  this type of thing?                             who have those languages as their
  As of January 2011, we know of two              primary language (with English sub-titles
  other pantries in northern Wisconsin, two       for the sake of our staff members who
  in Maine, one in Indiana, one in Quincy,        don’t read those languages.)
  MA, and we believe one in Ohio. We are               Many of our other materials are
  working with others around the country          already available in Spanish, and we hope
  who are thinking of doing similar work.         to be able to add Hmong soon. As we
                                                  have groups using other languages, we
 Why the focus on personal and                   invite them work with us to make our
  household hygiene essentials?                   materials available in their language, too.
  These are products that people need, but
  that aren’t covered by food stamps. Most
  people think of food stamps as covering
  “groceries” – but the way the rules are
                                                      For more information contact
                                                   Christine Thompson, Coordinator              Frequently
                                                                                                  Asked
                                                      Personal Essentials Pantry
  written, they only cover food – no                Coordinator@pepartnership.net
  alcohol, no tobacco, no medicines, no              608-772-3146 or 608-628-3189
  non-food products of any sort.

 What other agencies does the                                                                  Questions
  Pantry work with?
  We are a member of the Dane County
  Food Pantry Network, so we work
  cooperatively with all the food pantries in
  Dane County. Because we help with
  personal and household essentials, they
  can concentrate on providing food. It’s a
  good pairing.
      We also know that we’re in the role of
  a model or demonstration agency, so we

				
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posted:2/21/2012
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