GREEN BAY, Wis. — Not everyone deals with the logistics of storing 24 pallets of frozen pizzas.
But that’s the situation that faced staff at Feeding America - Eastern Wisconsin following a generous donation from Nestle. The Appleton food bank found a unique solution with a unique set of partners: the freezers in Lambeau Field.
Normally the stadium’s freezers would be stocked for 80,000 people.
Not this year.
“Because of the situation with COVID and the pandemic, our freezers are a little more empty than they typically would be,” said Charlie Millerwise, the Packer’s Director of Development of Hospitality. “We happen to have room, and gosh, this time of year when people are in need, what better cause could you go after and we just to make ourselves available to it.”
The pallets were unloaded for the semi-truck and moved into one of the massive freezers by forklift, part of a partnership that helped with both logistics and finances for the food bank.
“If we weren’t able to find a low-cost or no-cost solution, we’d be having to pay to store this food somewhere else,” said Lisa Endl, communications manager for Feeding America — Eastern Wisconsin.
Food insecurity has been on the serious side effects of the pandemic. It’s likely not going away anytime soon.
“We are seeing a huge need in our communities across the eastern side of the state — a 36 percent increase in need,” Endl said. “We’re distributing 83 percent more food during this pandemic period than we did in the last year.”
The move is a partnership between Feeding America, the Packers and their food and concession provider, Delaware North.
“Most people wouldn’t think freezer space is a commodity you’d need during a pandemic,” Millerwise said. “But when food is at a shortage, we’re here and we’ve got the space.”