Both the Salvation Army as well as the Beloit Masonic Center have some form of relationship with the Second Harvest food bank of Beloit Wisconsin. The non-profits can provide meals, free or low cost food, and aid to the needy in Beloit and Rock County Wisconsin.
While each of those non-profits will support the low income and needy, the Second Harvest food bank has recently had a change and its new official location will now be located at the Beloit Masonic Center. This is occurring because of a disagreement between the local Salvation Army and Second Harvest personnel. According to the Beloit Salvation Army center, Second Harvest wanted to have about 500 families in the program. However the Salvation Army can’t commit to helping that many people, as they only serve roughly 300 families per month. So the two agencies are going their separate ways.
Second Harvest will continue to support the same individuals and clients that it has in the past. There will be no changes to who can get help. The non profit food bank will still honor the families that the Salvation Army promised groceries and free food too.
Second Harvest also runs a Mobile Pantry. While the agency doesn’t have a quota for how many families they want to help, the target would usually be over 500 per month. However as far as they are concerned, the more people who can receive help the better.
There are several reasons that the food bank is being moved to the Beloit Masonic Center. The biggest reason is they want to be able to increase the number of people who receive help. For example, more families go to the Masonic Center to get food for their families. Compare that to the Salvation Army, which has limited space in the building where they are located.
For example, people will no longer or will very rarely need to stand outside as the Beloit Masonic Center has more room. All agencies would ideally like to have more people wait inside even though they are still welcome to stand outside. The food bank wants people to be as comfortable as possible.
Also, the Salvation Army stipulated that individuals and families can only go to one local food pantry or the other. However Second Harvest wanted families to be able to go to both locations, or to any local facility for that matter. However, the Salvation Army doesn’t have such a policy, and that they restricted families and they were prohibited from visiting both food banks.
The Second Harvest food bank also wanted all the groceries and food given out during the last food bank day. However it is a little tougher to control the amount of free food every family gets when it all has to be given out.
The primary focus of the mobile food pantry offered by Second Harvest is to give food and groceries to all families who need help in Rock County Wisconsin. There should not be any issues with what people should or should not be able to receive.
Much of the funding and donations come from the local community. Second Harvest has received thousands of dollars and grants from the Stateline Community Foundation's Community Needs Grant Program to continue its Mobile Pantry Program in Beloit.
The new location of the food pantry will not be far from the current site. The Masonic Center, which is located at 229 Grand Ave., is less than a mile away from the Salvation Army on Broad Street. Volunteers from the Salvation Army may even be able to drive someone to the new location, however this service will only be in effect for a short period of time and is more focused on the homebound. Second Harvest has also provided a handout with more information and a phone number that families can call with other questions.
The dates that the Salvation Army and Second Harvest food banks are open will not change with the move to the new facility. Anyone who needs assistance will be able to go to either center if they need more food.
Each month the food pantries in the region serve over 20,000 pounds of food to over 350 families per month. People of all backgrounds and income receive assistance. Almost 40 percent of those individuals who are helped were children. Another 20 percent are seniors.
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