Menominee County pantry helps feed 61 families in December

The pantry is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. CT.
Exterior of the Storehouse Community Center in Stephenson
Exterior of the Storehouse Community Center in Stephenson(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:47 PM EST
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STEPHENSON, Mich. (WLUC) - A Menominee County food pantry feeds dozen of families each month. It operates differently than most pantries, according to those who maintain it. The Menominee Mid-Country Ministerial Food Pantry fed 61 families in December. Director John Badendick said when you enter the pantry, it’s a lot like Costco or Sam’s Club.

“It takes about 10 minutes to set you up in the computer system,” Badendick said. “Once you are set up, I make you an ID card, just like at some grocery stores, and you just sign in.”

Badendick said the ID card is to help keep records of food distributions and to make people feel more comfortable like they are shopping at a store.

“A lot of people have a hard time asking for help,” Badendick said. “When they come here, we don’t want them to feel like they’re asking for help, we are here because we want to serve.”

Badendick said he has seen a large increase in the number of people needing the pantry.

“For such a small area, the City of Stephenson has a population of around 890, which is pretty significant,” Badendick explained. “We served 135 people last month.”

The pantry is funded through donations and is staffed by volunteers from 10 churches in the area. Badendick said the pantry is more than just a place to get food.

“We talk to people, we love on them and care about them,” Badendick said. “We get involved in their lives. If they come and need someone to talk to, we’re here.”

The pantry is open from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. CT every Saturday. Food and monetary donations are accepted. He said the item he needs the most is eggs, because of how expensive they are. In Stephenson, a dozen eggs cost $6.