Hunger Action Month: 30-Item Challenge Fills Need for Soup or Socks

Take the challenge to end hunger during Hunger Action Month this September. Local food pantry and clothes closet Soup or Socks is looking to stock its most-needed items by asking at least 30 people in the community to donate 30 items, one of each on the list or 30 of one item.

Soup or Socks assists an average of 78 households a month, an increase of 36% from 2017. The nonprofit sees this month as an opportunity to let the community become aware of its needs. “This year, I decided to try and get more people involved since our needs were so extensive,” said Cheryl Lewis Hartl, Director. “I thought this would not only bring in donations, but create awareness of all the things that are needed here at SOS.”

Though the pantry is currently seeing a need in many areas, if she had to choose, the top five most needed items are tomato paste, dried soup mix, canned carrots, jelly, and all-purpose baking mix, due to their versatility.

“The baking mix can be used for biscuits, pancakes or dumplings. The tomato paste can be used to thicken tomato soup or spaghetti sauce and stretch it out longer. Dried soup mix, you can make it as soup or add to ground beef to make that go farther as a meatloaf,” explained Lewis Hartl. “Jelly is good with peanut butter or as a snack with crackers. You can use jelly to flavor pancakes instead of syrup. Canned carrots is an extra vegetable, plus if you have small children they can be smashed up for young eaters.”

Families are able to visit the pantry once a month, six times per year, and have some choice in the food they receive. Soups or Socks provides fresh milk and produce coupons at an average cost of $1,000 per month. Donations of these items are accepted along with meat processed at a licensed processor. This year, Soup or Socks collaborated with Leadership Marshfield to outfit local students with new clothing and shoes, helping nearly 100 have their “Best First Day.”

Unexpired donations can be dropped off at SOS at 200 S. Lincoln (next to 1st Presbyterian Church) Monday-Thursday 12:30-3:30 p.m. and Friday 9-12 p.m. The pantry is also open September 8 from 9-12 p.m. Appointments can be made if those times do not work. The pantry is keeping track of participants, so feel free to mention Hunger Action Month when dropping off a donation.

Volunteers are needed to collect food during Rotary Winter Wonderland on Wednesday, November 28 from 4:45-7 p.m. Contact the pantry at 715-387-1796 or message on Facebook if willing to help.

The 30-Item Challenge:

  1. Oatmeal
  2. Rice Mix
  3. Tomato Sauce
  4. Tomato Paste
  5. Pie Filling
  6. Cake or Cookie or Muffin Mix
  7. Noodle Mix
  8. Dried Soup Mix (not ramen)
  9. Canned Carrots
  10. Canned Fruit
  11. Stew
  12. Chili
  13. Jelly
  14. Mayonnaise
  15. Jell-O (boxes to make not cups)
  16. Pudding (boxes to make not cups)
  17. Macaroni and cheese
  18. Canned Mixed Vegetables
  19. Canned Peas
  20. Canned Potatoes
  21. Tuna
  22. Salmon
  23. Canned Meats
  24. Baking mix (all-purpose like Bisquick)
  25. Gravy
  26. 100% juice Bottled Juice
  27. Bars of Bath Soap
  28. Laundry Soap
  29. Dish Soap
  30. All Purpose Cleaner