Food pantry really gets moving

New truck means doing business just got easier for Director Mark Gierach and fellow staff members; fits organization’s mission to expand its services
Ozaukee Press Staff

In the early days of the Saukville Food Pantry, Director Mark Gierach remembers picking up food in his 2005 Dodge minivan.

“Everything we hauled from Feeding America and any other place was done with my personal van, including sometimes stuffing it with up to 2,000 pounds of food and hauling it back out here,” he said.

But after receiving a $60,000 grant from Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, the food pantry purchased a 26-foot box truck that will greatly improve the pantry’s ease of operations.

“It’s a big step up,” Gierach said.

While the pantry has had other vehicles over the years, the new truck is currently the only one it owns.

In addition to being the largest the pantry has ever owned, the new truck will also be the first vehicle with a built-in hydraulic lift.

Gierach said historically pantry staff members and volunteers have had to load each individual item when picking up food and supplies.

The hydraulic lift will allow pantry workers to load entire carts of supplies at once, greatly reducing the time and efforts involved in loading and unloading.

While the truck isn’t in operation as the pantry waits for its license plates and registration tags, Gierach said it will make a big impact to operations when it’s ready to hit the road in two to three weeks.

Gierach said at some point the pantry also hopes to decal the truck with the Saukville Food Pantry logo and other information to spread word about the pantry to those who may see the truck.

With the pantry exploring the prospect of moving on from its 6,000-square-foot space at Parkside Community United Church in favor of a larger space, Gierach said the truck fits into the pantry’s mission to expand its services.

The pantry serves 400 to 425 families each month, figures that have greatly increased since the start of the pandemic.

To explore options on whether the pantry should move, build a new space or find an existing space to move into, it formed a Capital Campaign Committee made up of 10 members with backgrounds in a number of fields in Ozaukee County.

Gierach said the committee is in the midst of discussions about how the pantry should move forward and should come to a decision soon.

Students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture are also assisting the pantry with its plans for relocation.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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