PC’s ‘Stock the Shelves’ campaign sets new record

Written by Kara Patterson Post-Crescent staff writer
December 15, 2012

The Post-Crescent’s “Stock the Shelves” Do It! Community Challenge has set a new record this year, with contributions of $285,227.41 exceeding the campaign’s previous record of $275,000 in 2009.

The campaign’s total amount, which includes matching grants, surpassed the initial goal of $250,000. The P-C then sought to raise $275,000.

The annual campaign, which began Oct. 14 and ended Nov. 25, benefits Fox Valley food pantries and programs.

“This has been a stunning ‘Stock the Shelves’ campaign,” said Dan Flannery, The P-C’s executive editor. “From major contributions of up to $40,000 to credit union members who donated at the teller window, every penny makes a difference.

“We cannot thank those who contributed enough. We asked, they answered, and together, we will make a major difference for the worthiest of causes — to alleviate hunger in our communities.”

Over the past four years, the campaign in The P-C’s market has raised $1.06 million. This year’s campaign received 630 individual donations.

Individual donations were matched up to $119,000, thanks to gifts from the J. J. Keller Foundation ($35,000), Express Convenience Centers ($34,000), the Fox Cities Chapter of Credit Unions ($25,000) and Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s “K-C Cares” program ($25,000).

“Without our major partners, we likely wouldn’t have gotten this done,” Flannery said of the record. “But part of what makes the Fox Cities special is that we can partner with such great companies and organizations who are happy to work together for all the right reasons.”

The Express match is based on its donation of 5 cents per gallon of gas sold at its locations in November.

“We’re so honored and thrilled to have such wonderful community partners who help us tackle important issues in our community throughout the year, including the ‘Stock the Shelves’ campaign,” said Genia Lovett, president and publisher of The P-C. “The record-breaking success of this year’s campaign reminds us once again that we live in a wonderful place with so many who care about those with needs in our world and do something about it.”

Major contributions include the following: a $40,000 donation from the Rick and Sheri Hartzheim Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region; $25,000 from the Mowry Smith Charitable Fund within the Community Foundation; $20,000 from the Victor and Christine Anthony Family Foundation; $5,000 from the Les and Dar Stumpf Family Fund within the Community Foundation; $5,000 from Robert L. Keller; and $5,000 from Octoberfest.

“We are very fortunate to live in such a caring and generous community that knows how to take care of its neighbors in need,” said Curt Detjen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, which collects and distributes donations. “This year’s campaign is impressive both for the total donation amount but also the very large number of donors. Regardless of donation amount, every donor should feel good about being part of a special community drive. The food pantries have told us they are serving more people all the time, so we know these donations are well placed.”

Forty percent of the proceeds from the “Stock the Shelves” campaign will go to the St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha, the largest locally based hunger relief organization.

Monica Clare, executive director of St. Joseph Food Program, said in November that the program served an average of 272 families per day and distributed more than 12,000 pounds of food a day.

Funds from “Stock the Shelves” will help St. Joseph Food Program purchase nonperishable items, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs and other groceries, Clare said.

“That will greatly help us be able to restock and continue doing what we’re doing,” Clare said. “Generally this is our highest donation time. By February, March, then we need to restock again. Being able to put those funds in the bank for when things start to dwindle off certainly helps.”

Twenty percent will go to The Salvation Army-Fox Cities.

“Seeing the success of ‘Stock the Shelves’ was incredible,” said Pat Leigl, social services director at The Salvation Army-Fox Cities. “What it means is we are going to be able to get more food into people’s hands and at this time of year it’s wonderful and it’s very necessary.”

Another 20 percent will be divided equally among the other 21 pantries in the program.

The final 20 percent will be placed in accounts for 19 “Stock the Shelves” beneficiaries that are partners of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin (FAEW).

FAEW joined the “Stock the Shelves” program this year to administer and verify the status of all pantries and programs that receive donations from “Stock the Shelves.”

“We are thrilled that it exceeded the goal, and I think what we’re able to do is provide a lot of food resources for our community, so we’re excited,” said Patti Habeck, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin’s northeast Wisconsin regional manager. “Feeding America’s portion will bring in about 15 tons of food for the pantries in our community.”

The Gannett Wisconsin Media campaign has collected a record amount of $637,421.66, surpassing the goal of $610,000. These funds serve 89 hunger-relief organizations in 10 markets.

The Post-Crescent, Green Bay Press-Gazette and Oshkosh Northwestern raised $448,945.27 in a Fox Valley campaign with a $415,000 goal.

The J. J. Keller Foundation and Express Convenience Centers contributed $15,000 each to the Green Bay and Oshkosh campaigns. Local credit unions in those markets also made financial contributions.

— Kara Patterson: 920-993-1000, ext. 215, or kpatterson@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @KaraNPatterson