Weiler Convenience Store Hosts Soup Sale for Food Pantry After Fundraiser Postponed

Soup Containers Available as Supplies Last

(OnFocus) The fundraiser for Empty Bowls may be postponed this weekend, but members of the public can still support Soup or Socks food pantry.

[Related: Saturday’s Empty Bowls Fundraiser Postponed]

Weiler Convenience Store at 2500 N. Central Ave. by Walmart is distributing 30 gallons of soup that were donated by area restaurants for Empty Bowls, starting Friday afternoon and running as supplies last.

“It was so sad when it was decided it couldn’t go on,” said store manager Trisha Mayer, who is on the steering committee for the event. “When they approached me with the idea of selling containers here, I was just so excited.”

The minimum suggested donation for a soup container and a 3-dozen bag of cookies is $10. Cash or check is accepted.

Soup was also donated to the PDC Orenda Center for its residents and will be given out to Soup or Socks families as well.

The decision to postpone the event due to the developing situation with coronavirus was devastating for event organizers and volunteers. “I’m just happy that it’s helping to retrieve everyone’s efforts,” Mayer said.

Empty Bowls organizers initially decided on Thursday to move forward with the Saturday event with precautions in place, such as frequent handwashing and sanitizing of public areas.

“We did a lot of thinking and up until yesterday we actually thought we could still have the event,” said Cheryl Lewis Hartl, Soup or Socks Director. “As circumstances continue to unfold in the community, and the state, and the whole nation over the last 24 hours, we decided we were going to have to postpone it.”

The Wisconsin Department of Public Health issued a recommendation on Thursday that gatherings of 250 people or more be cancelled or postponed to help protect the public from the spread of COVID-19. Soup or Socks expected about 600 people to attend the fundraiser.

“We are heartbroken that we’re not having this event tomorrow,” Lewis Hartl said. “Financially, it’s huge.”

Soup or Socks hopes to pick another date in the future to hold its signature fundraiser, which accounts for 15-20 percent of its annual budget and allows it to purchase items that aren’t donated to the pantry.

As the coronavirus situation evolves, the organization is looking at ways to accommodate those it serves who are most vulnerable to the illness, particularly the elderly, by limiting face-to-face contact.

Updates on how to help Soup or Socks with its needs will be posted to its Facebook page, or call 715-387-1796.