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Pantry releases 2017 annual report
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MONTICELLO - The Green Cares Food Pantry board of directors recently released the pantry's 2017 Annual Report. Below is data on how many households and individuals were served.

The number of unduplicated households served was 555; the total households served in 2017 was 3,173.

n 307, or 55 percent, have one or more household members working

n 200, or 36 percent, have one or more household members receiving Social Security and/or SSI benefits.

n 20, or 3.6 percent, reported no income.

The number of unduplicated individuals served was 1,744; the total individuals served was 9,611.

n 386, or 22 percent, consider themselves disabled.

n 1,556, or 89 percent, had health coverage.

n 662, or 38 percent, were children.

n 78, or 4.5 percent, were age 70 or older.

n 228, or 13 percent, were between the age of 55 and 69.

The average monthly number of households served in 2017 was 265. During 2017, Green Cares provided 321,524 pounds of food to pantry households. Green Cares purchased 48 percent of the food provided; the other 52 percent represents donated foods. The cost per individual served was $6.68 for one week's worth of food.

The Green Cares Food Pantry, a volunteer-managed pantry, is dedicated to providing for the needs of food-insecure Green County households by collecting, purchasing and distributing food and grocery products, along with educating the community about hunger and food insecurity and collaborating with others who address basic human needs.

Pantry households receive healthy and nutritious foods while volunteers provide a friendly, non-judgmental environment, connecting these households to employment opportunities, community resources, nonprofit programming, government benefits and advocacy services to improve the economic condition of the household. Green Cares has a basic belief: No one should be hungry. During 2017, nearly 200 Green Cares volunteers donated 5,200 hours to ensure all those in need had access to food.

Green Cares also has started an expansion of pantry services. In March 2018, through a collaboration between the Green Cares board, Green County Leaders and the Monticello School District, the Pony Pack Program was started. The PPP confidentially provides at-risk Monticello students in 4K through fifth grades with nutritious foods to take home for the weekend. This pilot project is one the Green Cares board hopes to replicate in other school districts.

Green Cares receives no government funding; the pantry is reliant on donated support. Anybody wanting to help Green Cares Food Pantry combat hunger may send a check payable to Green Cares Food Pantry, W5198 County C, Monticello, WI 53570. For those who wish to contribute to the Pony Pack Program, note that on the check memo and those funds will be used exclusively for the Pony Pack Program.

Green Cares is a partner with the United Way of Green County, Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program, its own 501(c)(3) and the Second Harvest Food Bank in Madison.