Community-wide teamwork makes the dream work. For the eleventh year in a row, Rotary Making Spirits Bright‘s annual holiday lights show at Evergreen Park and partnership event with Sheboygan County Food Bank collected food and personal care items to support local families. In fact, a grand total of 121,701 pounds was reeled in for the 2022 season. To all of those who drove through and donated, volunteered, or were involved in any way, we share our deepest appreciation for your compassion. If you stepped into our warehouse in early November 2022 and again in the new year, you would have seen that these donations filled big gaps on our shelves to kick off 2023.
“Ever since the inception of the holiday lights show in Evergreen Park and the indoor activities at nearby Jaycee Quarryview Center, the goal of Making Spirits Bright has been to gather much needed items for Sheboygan County Food Bank. We value our partnership with them, providing a venue for their annual Holiday Lights Hunger Run/Walk and offering a means to gather much needed items in the park for those in need.”- Gerry Plehn, Steering Committee Chair, Making Spirits Bright.
The total amount of pounds collected came in at 80% of the event’s overall goal of 150,000 pounds. Right before Christmas weekend, Making Spirits Bright made the difficult decision to close the event for two days due to the severe weather conditions and out of concern for the safety of volunteers. This was only the second time in its 11-year history that Making Spirts Bright closed. In addition to the closures, high grocery prices likely impacted donation amounts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from November 2021 through November 2022 the cost of food at stores increased by 12%.
There’s no doubt that over the past year inflation and the high cost of living have caused many more our neighbors to struggle to make ends meet and face hunger.
“Inflation is making it very difficult for our neighbors to afford food. In 2022 we served an average of 3,130 families each month through our network of dozens of food pantries and agencies, which is a sharp 55% increase from 2021 and demand keeps increasing. We are sincerely grateful for Making Spirits Bright’s partnership and, as always, the donations will go a long way to help families in our community. As we head into 2023, cash and food donations for Sheboygan County Food Bank will be critical as we make sure we are there for anyone who needs us.”- Patrick Boyle, Executive Director, Sheboygan County Food Bank.
If you would like to help, make an online donation, or send a check to: 3115 N. 21 St. Suite #1, Sheboygan, WI 53083. We also happily accept unexpired, non-perishable or perishable food at our warehouse and office (3115 N. 21 St. in Sheboygan), 9 AM – 3 PM, Monday – Friday. Need ideas on what to give? Check out our most needed items here.