For 37 years Fondy Food Pantry operated out of a small workspace located in the lower level of Church of our Saviour on the corner of Ninth and Main streets in Fond du Lac.
Pantry coordinator Mike Magnussen was forced to shut the pantry down after it flooded twice in one week during the torrential rains that devastated the community in June 2008.
All its food supply was lost, as well as two refrigerators and two freezers.
Members of the congregation and pantry volunteers teamed with the St. Vincent De Paul Society, determined to resurrect the pantry.
Through their hard work and the generosity of Holy Family Parish, temporary space was provided at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Within a few weeks of the flooding, a restocked Fondy Food Pantry was up and running. Jack Braun, director of social ministry for Holy Family Parish, facilitated the reorganization and continued to look for a permanent home for Fondy Food Pantry.
Braun used the food pantry often through his work at St. Vincent De Paul.
“After the flood I was at home cleaning out my own basement, and one of the pastors called me up and said, ‘I heard the food pantry was flooded. Do you think we can do something to help out?’” Braun said.
In November 2008 a working committee was formed and renewed the commitment to continue the work of Fondy Food Pantry.
Father Brian Beno and Terry Hansen-Beno opened the doors of St. Paul’s Cathedral, 51 W. Division St., and welcomed Fondy Food Pantry into its new home.
Due to the dedicated work of volunteers, local service organizations once again had the opportunity to obtain food to assist those in need in Fond du Lac and the surrounding communities.
The Fondy Food Pantry was originally set up as an emergency food program. The board of directors is working hard toward expansion.
“We want to take what has been in place since 1973, branch out and reach as many people as possible,” said Past Board President Sarah Zimmerman.
The goals of the board include increasing direct outreach to children, reaching more families and expanding collaborations with area businesses, churches and community organizations.