After successfully collecting 13,600 non-perishable food items and $11,462 for the PWA's 24th Annual Food Drive at the Oct. 3 Packers-Lions game, the finishing touches were made with two truckloads of non-perishable food items delivered to Paul's Pantry.
Originally Paul's Pantry had expected just one truckload of collections, but Friday morning they were surprised to learn two truckloads of items were being donated.
And for two PWA members, Jen Zimmerman, fiancée to Packers fullback Korey Hall, and Tamika Jones, wife of wide receiver James Jones, the amount of food delivered did not come as a surprise to them.
"With this community, people are always willing to give," Jones said. "We really have to thank everyone involved, from fans who donated at the game this year, volunteers, Festival Foods, and SuperValu. It wouldn't be possible without a community effort.
"Food goes a long way, so I think any way we can help the community and make sure kids and families have food this holiday season is very important."
Zimmerman was touched to see everyone's hard work and contributions come together.
"This is the 24th year in a row that the PWA has teamed up with these guys to stock up Paul's Pantry and it is great to see just how beneficial these donations will be to Paul's Pantry," Zimmerman said. "It's always great to be involved in a city like this, we've really enjoyed it."
In the 24 years of conducting the food drive, the PWA has collected more than $616,800 non-perishable food items and $273,531 for Paul's Pantry.
The contributions go a long way, and are more helpful than one might think. Already by 5:30 a.m., members of the community were lining up outside of Paul's Pantry to make their weekly purchase, even though the market does not open until 10:30 a.m.
Craig Robbins, director at Paul's Pantry, couldn't thank all those involved enough and was truly touched.
"This entire process would not be possible without the help of many," Robbins said. "And today we have our three major contributors here together, Festival Foods, SuperValu, and the Packers. But equally important are the volunteers that have played a major role in the success of this process. Without their dedication and coming here week after week, this wouldn't be possible. There are great workers and always dependable. They really are the heart and soul of this organization."
Festival Foods takes pride in their partnership with Paul's Pantry and knows the hard work from volunteers at Paul's Pantry helps Festival Foods thrive.
"At Festival Foods, we couldn't do what we do without the volunteer's help," said Festival Food's director of public relations Nick Arlt. "We know that when we have product near to date, it's going to be put to good use because people are going to be able to use it here. It makes us look good for all the hard work they do. These volunteers truly do so much for us and we are very thankful."
Glen Michelini, SuperValu transportation manager, was very pleased with this year's results and with Friday's delivery.
"We are glad to be a part of this effort and make a contribution," Michelini said. "But really, it is the help of many. It is the volunteers that are the true heroes, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that, we're just here to help.
"SuperValu is happy to be a part of this whole process with Paul's Pantry, the Packers Women's Association, and Festival Foods. We've been donating for about 24 years so this is something we are used to doing and something we feel is a great opportunity to help out the community."
And with the goal to provide a family with enough food every week for as long as needed -- always Paul's Pantry's top priority -- this year's efforts will continue to keep the program a success