Lent 2022 Almsgiving – Riverwest Food Pantry
Riverwest Food Pantry is a community food center that engages volunteers and neighborhood residents to end hunger, isolation, and poverty. Our innovative programs nourish health, belonging, and economic opportunity.
Riverwest Food Pantry, founded in 1979 by St. Casimir church volunteers and incorporated as a 501c3 in 2013, is no longer your stereotypical food pantry that simply hands out food. We are part of a growing movement across the nation and Canada to become a community food center that recognizes that food is the entry point…not the end point. Through our innovative programs, we harness the power of food to build a community where all of us are nourished, all of us belong, and all of us can prosper. By engaging volunteers and community residents to end hunger, isolation, and poverty, we will change the way hunger is addressed in Milwaukee.
The Riverwest Food Pantry is a work of the Catholic Church in response to God—who reveals riches through our poverty. As a community of generosity, we discover ourselves in vulnerable self-giving relationships. At the heart of our organization are houses of mission-interns and staff who live a communal life of daily silent prayer and spiritual formation. Our community’s diversity is at the core of our spirit of welcome and hospitality.
Our Community of Generosity is the foundation on which this community is being built. We know that everyone has gifts to share – in other words, nobody is so well off that they no longer have needs and nobody is so poor that they do not have gifts to share. In fact, those who carry the heaviest burdens have the greatest gifts and everyone who comes into our community learns that quickly.
This mutuality – and a fear for the first time that many of us had about not being able to access food during the earliest days of the pandemic especially — is what helped Riverwest see record response from the community these past two years. We typically serve about 13,000 people each year, but served nearly 20,000 and 15,000 respectively — the need was strong and thankfully the support of the community is equally strong. We expect the coming year to see similar need and are hopeful the community will continue to respond to one other.
Make A Difference at the Riverwest Food Pantry
The fruit of community happens when we all choose to enter deeper into relationship with each other. Mutual partnership is crucial to the success of our mission. We are eager for you to join this Community of Generosity where everyone gives and everyone receives.
We have many exciting opportunities for you to get involved and remember that we belong to one another.
We understand that food is just the entry point.
A food drive is a great way to make sure families in our city have healthy and nutritious food in their pantry. We offer both virtual and traditional opportunities to host a drive. To effectively serve our community, we host drives for:
- Hygiene products
- Household items
- Other needed resources
Our needs change weekly, so contact us at email@example.com to learn more about hosting a group drive or donating directly.
Discover the fruit of entering deeper into community.
Discover the fruit of entering deeper into community. By connecting with others and building relationships, our volunteers directly promote prosperity and fight systemic challenges within out city. Our urban farm and food center provide a variety of opportunities to get involved. Sign up in advance at www.riverwestfoodpantry.org/get-involved. For groups larger than three (3), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban Farm (times change seasonally):
Summer Planting, Harvesting, Maintenance
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30 am -12 pm
Distribution: Tuesday 2:30 – 6 pm
Food Sort: Friday 8:30 – 11 am
Distribution: Saturday 7:45 – 11 am
Community Transformation Talks
Learn what it means to truly be a Community of Generosity.
We offer immersive learning experiences which cover the systemic issues facing our city and provide an opportunity for increased diversity and inclusion within our communities. These community trainings are mobile and can be brought to any institution located in the Greater Milwaukee area.
The Faces of Hunger
This training essentially highlights human dignity and justice issues.
LEARN ABOUT THE FACE OF HUNGER!
Beneath the demographics of poverty are the ‘faces of hunger’ in our community and the systems that prepare or prevent pathways to stability.
Participants will learn:
- who comes to food pantries
- why do they come to food pantries
- systems that perpetuate hunger
Service That Transforms
This essentially highlights the Church’s teaching on human dignity.
When we are vulnerable in our service, and seek to encounter the hurting and marginalized, a transformation of deeper gratitude and belonging can occur.
Participants will learn:
- what marginalizes others in service
- how to build belonging rather than marginalization
- Why culture is essential to make bigger change
Vincent Noth – Executive Director
Vincent Noth, a Milwaukee native, grew up attending public school on the northside. He has been the Executive Director of the Riverwest Food Pantry since 2013. He has worked in Milwaukee’s urban service and nonprofit sector since 1999, as the Director of Programs for Summit Educational Association and as Pastor of the Youth and Family Ministries for Eastbrook Church. He served as a community and organization development consultant with the Peace Corps in Eastern Europe. He holds a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and a M.A. in Religion from Trinity International University. Vincent and his wife Jessica have lived in the Riverwest-Harambee community since 2001.
Samantha Vosters – Volunteer Engagement Manager
Samantha Vosters is from Freedom, Wisconsin. She has managed volunteers at the Riverwest Food Pantry since 2014, and helped found the Mission Internship program. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2010, with a degree in Catholic Studies and Psychology. She has worked with various ministries, including Catholic Youth Expeditions (CYE) in Door County, as well as evangelization and ministry with LAMP Catholic Ministries in the Bronx. Samantha has committed her life to live single for the Lord through a vow of chastity since 2014.
“You have helped us feed the body, now help us feed the whole person!” Our support of the Riverwest Food Pantry has enabled them to encounter our neighbors nearly 15,000 times last year, sharing not only healthy food with them, but helping them learn how to cook with their fresh produce, navigate any crises their families were facing, and to feel like a part of their Community of Generosity where everyone gives and everyone receives. Please join the parishioners from our family of parishes as we strive to make Lent a place where we all remember that we belong to one another.
If you’d like to support this almsgiving campaign, please write a check to Riverwest Food Pantry and put “Lenten Almsgiving” in the memo line. Donation envelopes can be found in the pews. You can also give online at www.riverwestfoodpantry.org. Enter “Lenten Almsgiving” in the donation notes. Or you can text RWFP to 41444 to donate. Together, we can change the way hunger is addressed in Milwaukee.
At the Riverwest Food Pantry, greater giving leads to greater receiving. When you shop, donate food, share dollars or volunteer your time, we invite you on a journey to the wellspring of generosity, where the person with a lot sees their profound need and the person with little sees how much they have to give. To learn more, please visit our website at www.riverwestfoodpantry.org.