2/20/2020 7:30:00 AM Food pantry in final stages of remodeling project
The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry (RAFP) has reached the final stages of a remodeling project that began last year with a kitchen upgrade and expanded from there. According to an RAFP press release, the kitchen upgrade began with new cabinets and flooring to serve as a better learning environment for the food preparation classes that were introduced last year.
"In conjunction with the UW Extension, classes are tailored to use certain vegetables in season, and in addition to stove top and oven use, the utilization of different appliances such as Crock Pots and blenders," the release states. "The remodeling project grew to include new flooring in the client waiting area and a new desk unit which serves as the central administration point of the food pantry."
RAFP was founded in 2005 and moved to its current site (627 Coon St.) in 2014.
To date, it has distributed in excess of 6.4 million pounds of food to area families in need, the release states.
"RAFP has come a long way from its humble beginnings with two shelves in the small building that housed the St. Joe's Thrift Shop," the release notes. "It is hard to believe that Lois Blonski and Toni Rogers, the two people credited with creating the idea of the Community Food Pantry, could have imagined what their original dream would have grown into."
"The remodeling project would not have been possible, without the generous support of area businesses," the release states. "Carpetier's donated the new vinyl flooring for the kitchen, Home Depot provided a substantial discount on the new cabinets, CR Meyer Company donated the front desk unit, Sherwin Williams provided a substantial discount on paint and supplies, and United Rentals donated the use of a floor tile removing machine. Without these donations, and a considerable amount of donated volunteer labor, a project of this magnitude would not have been possible."
Guy Hansen, RAFP executive director, expressed his appreciation and gratitude to everyone that had a hand in making this project become a reality. He said this is yet another example of the Rhinelander area coming together to improve the well-being of others.
"As the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry begins its 15th year of support for area families, the support of area businesses, such as grocery and convenience stores that donate food items, and the ones mentioned above related to the recent project, are absolutely necessary to its survival," the release states. "Together we will work to help feed neighboring families in need."
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