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Local food pantry helps those with disabilities

Posted: 6:32 PM, Dec 18, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-18 19:32:30-05

The Ebenezer Church food pantry is unique because it caters to people with diabetes and because it is open to everyone.

"The many people that come in- it's not based on your income. It's not based on zip code but for those who've fallen on hard times and need food. We provide healthy and safe options," said Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin's community engagement director Rayna Andrews.

Parish nurse, Julia Means, said Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and Columbia St. Mary's partner with Ebenezer Church to teach people how to make healthy choices. They hold cooking classes with the UW-Extension Office. "We have a nutritionist that's here that does actual food demonstrations. We have a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner here that will actually sit down and map out a diabetic plan for you," Means said.

Barbara E. White volunteers at the food pantry. She has had diabetes for more than 15 years so she can relate to people who come through the line, "So it's real beneficial to me to be able to educate emphasis again on how to live healthy, how to help with diabetes, and to let them see me as an example and know that you can survive and you can do daily things," White said.

The food pantry is stocked with plenty of apples, potatoes, onions and even baby food. "We're always told what we shouldn't eat," said Means, "but it's better to be shown what you can eat."

Vickie Jones said it's a nice food pantry, "I come here every month to get fresh vegetables."

"It's wonderful. And to hear our participants say 'I've changed the way that I eat' that's just very rewarding to know that," Means said.