OACP Works with Local Organizations to Eliminate Food Insecurity

Published Thursday, March 24, 2022

What started as a collaboration of local churches has since transformed into an operation that serves thousands of families each year. Today, the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry provides food to our friends and neighbors experiencing food insecurity in southern Winnebago County. Each month, OACP distributes over 80,000 pounds on average to local families through their location in the Saint Vincent de Paul building at 2551 Jackson Street in Oshkosh. In addition to serving the guests of the pantry, OACP also works with other pantries in the area to redistribute goods from various programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that distributes government commodities to a variety of organizations, including food banks and food pantries. Due to OACP’s access to an industrial-size walk-in cooler and freezer, OACP works as a drop site for the other TEFAP partners within Winnebago County. Each month, the Winnebago County TEFAP partners, including Lutheran Food Pantry, Emmanuel Food Pantry, Salvation Army Oshkosh, Omro Food Pantry, and Saint Vincent de Paul Neenah wake up early to arrive at OACP to meet the semi-truck that contains that month’s shipment. TEFAP partners then take their share of the commodities back to their organizations to distribute to people in our community. The commodities that come from TEFAP are instrumental in allowing local food pantries and organizations to distribute food to our community. TEFAP commodities make up over 23% of the food that OACP distributes monthly.

In addition to TEFAP, OACP also functions as a redistribution site for local Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin partners. Feeding America is a national non-profit made up of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries. As a national organization, they serve one in seven Americans. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is a critical player in helping local pantries and organizations in our area strive to eliminate the food insecurity that exists in our community. At OACP alone, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin makes up over 67% of the food that is distributed monthly. OACP works with ten other Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin partners in Winnebago County to assist in storage of goods that many organizations require but are not able to store as easily. The partnerships OACP has with both TEFAP and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, in addition to its local partners in Winnebago County, are instrumental in addressing their mission of striving to eliminate food insecurity. As an organization, OACP understands that striving to eliminate food insecurity is no easy task; and, in fact, is a mission that requires the help of many community partners.

For anyone who would like to support OACP’s mission to strive to eliminate food insecurity, as a volunteer, as a donor of food or as a donor of funds, visit oacptoday.org or call 920-651-9960 for more information.