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West Allis family puts food pantry on their lawn and it becomes incredibly popular

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 21:06:21-04

WEST ALLIS — About ten days ago, the Gall family put up a modest-looking food donation table on their front lawn in West Allis. In just two days, donations flooded the Gall's makeshift food pantry, and they had to upgrade their storage capacity significantly.

"...the donations kept growing and growing and growing and actually cash donations," Donald Gall said about the rapid growth of his family's food pantry.

However, this small act of kindness turned into something much bigger.

"This isn't about us. We're not doing this to get a pat on the back. This just shows there's a need in the community," Donald Gall said about his family's food pantry, which is more of a white tent pitched on the Gall's lawn at 2630 S. 78th St. in West Allis.

At all times of the day and night, Donald Gall said people are picking up and dropping off food. One of those people donating food on Tuesday was Peggy Moore.

"Well, I learned as a young child that you do unto others as you want to be done unto, and that's how I always lived my life," Moore said.

She brought one bag and one box full of canned goods, which is important because the Gall's can only accept long-lasting foods. The food tent became so popular the West Allis Health Department visited the Gall's home. They told them they should not take dairy, meat, or homemade products.

TMJ4 News called the health department, and they said that they had forwarded this matter to the state's legal team to determine if the Gall's should continue their pantry. This is a good and welcomed resource to all those who are in need during these trying times; however, from a sanitation and hygiene point of view, the state and local government needs to ensure the public's safety.

The food tent the Gall's have been using to place food donations in for anyone who needs a helping hand.

With that said, the Gall's do have a cleaning regime in place to keep everything sanitary. No one monitors the donations or pick-ups. That is to adhere to proper social distancing. However, every morning, Donald Gall will wash the area with a water and bleach mixture. His daughter and wife will wipe down all the containers, packaging, and tables that the food rests on. There are even markers on the ground to indicate how far apart people should stand while waiting to walk into the food tent.

It's unclear when there will be a decision about the food tent. As long as they are up, the Gall's food tent will continue to be a source for people in need. What's more, on Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Gall's will host an Easter giveaway for parents to pick up for their children.

It's actions like the Gall's that remind us that we will make it through this pandemic. A food tent is both a symbol of home and camaraderie. Our neighbors are there to help us in times of need, and we are strongest when we work together.

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