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Health Matters:Hunger in Riverwest

by Emily DeLeo

Remember the old expression “you arewhat you eat”? Most people recognizethat the food you eat does have a bigimpact on your overall health. Mostpeople also are able to buy the healthyfood they need. However, there are alot of people who cannot afford healthyfood, even right here in Riverwest.

Poverty is often the cause of foodinsecurity. Food insecurity is whena person does not have access to asufficient quantity of food in orderto live a healthy and productive life.Milwaukee is one of the poorest citiesin the nation with 26% of city residentsliving below the federal poverty line.Food insecurity within Milwaukee isevident in the large numbers of publicschool children on free and reducedprice lunches, the frequent calls to 2-1-1 for emergency food and the constantstream of people at neighborhood foodpantries.

A significant percentage of peopleliving in poverty are children. Thesechildren who receive free meals atschool will not have to go without thissummer. The Summer Meals Programfrom the Hunger Task Force will beproviding meals at both Gaenslen andPierce Elementary Schools. Any child18 or younger can receive free meals;no registration is required. Please seemore information below and call 2-1-1for details.

The Riverwest Community Health

Assessment Survey found that about21% of survey respondents in Riverwestreported skipping meals becausethey could not afford food. If you areone of these people, please visit aneighborhood food pantry. Emergencyfood, shelter and other resources can befound by calling 2-1-1 or the RiverwestHealth Initiative at 263-8383 ext.139.Individuals and families in need arewelcome to take advantage of these freeresources.

If you want to help your neighbors inneed, please consider donating nonperishablefood, money or your time toone of the food pantries. You can callOur Lady of Divine Providence parishoffice at 263-9340 or Hunger Task Forceat 777-0483 to donate, find volunteeropportunities or become a hungeradvocate.

Emily DeLeo is the Community HealthLiaison for the Riverwest Health Initiative.She can be reached at 263-8383 ext.139.

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Summer Meal Program
Gaenslen Elementary School
1250 E. Burleigh
June 26-August 18
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
available
Pierce Elementary School
2765 N. Fratney St.
June 26-August 18
Breakfast and lunch available

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Food PantriesRiverwest food pantry
Our Lady of Divine
Providence, St. Casmir’s site
(enter on Weil St.)
Saturdays 9 to 11 am
Gaenslen food pantry
1250 E. Burleigh, enter in
back, exit #4
Tuesdays 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Food Pantry Rules:
Must live in 53212 or 53211 zip
code
Must bring photo ID forself and ID for ALL familymembers as well as proof ofaddress each time you visit
May only visit ONE of thesepantries once a month
People under the influence ofalcohol or drugs will not beserved
Riverwest Currents online edition -May, 2006