In fall of 1987, some local individuals went to Green Bay and observed the operation of Paul’s Pantry, a food pantry providing free food to those in need. Understanding the same need in Manitowoc, Peter’s Pantry was formed.
The building that houses Peter’s Pantry was purchased by a charitable Manitowoc citizen and rented to Peter’s Pantry for $1.00 a y ear. Subsequently, the Pantry chose to purchase the building.
Volunteers spent over a month preparing the building for occupancy. Labor and materials contributed by local trades people was donated in the amount of many thousands of dollars, including: carpentry, electrical, heating, plumbing, masonry, and painting services.
Peter’s Pantry opened its doors on May 23, 1988. The churches and religious entities in the city continue to support the pantry. Since Peter’s Pantry opened, the pantry has provided over 50 million dollars worth of free food to our neighbors.
Peter’s Pantry is a supplemental food pantry that distributes perishable and non-perishable food to those in need.
Peter’s Pantry distributes foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery, meat, poultry, frozen foods, dairy products, and the usual dry groceries and canned goods.
Most recipients are residents of Manitowoc County and meet simple qualifications. Qualified recipients are able to utilize the pantry once a week or as needed.
Peter’s Pantry is open 4 days a week and distributes an average of 3,500 pounds of food a day, with an average of 50 families going through the pantry per day. The average family receives 40 to 50 pounds of food per visit. The pantry is open 52 weeks a year with an average distribution of 700,000 to 800,000 pounds of food a year. In the last 30 years of operation, we have distributed over 22 million pounds of food to the people of Manitowoc County.
Most of us have been there at one time or another. The lost job, bad economy or disabling injury that causes our finances to dwindle and our hope to fail. Then when we have stretched our funds as far as they can go… we find we are short of cash for essentials.
Peter’s Pantry is here to help with one of the most essential items … food. Just because you are currently going through a hard time doesn’t mean that you, your loved ones, or your children should have an empty stomach. Our caring volunteers want to help you in this difficult time and help to provide you with the essential food items to help you on to the next stage of your life.
We are not here to give you a hand out … but a hand up so that you can become more confident, strong, and independent.
When you enter our pantry for the first time, there will be applications on the wall as you enter. Please take a form, fill it out and bring required registration documents listed on front page to the office. The manager will register you for the current year and explain the process. Each year in January you will need to renew your registration.
Recipients of Peter’s Pantry are welcome once a week to receive food products. Our volunteers will walk you through the process and make sure that you have everything you need. Our selection contains fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, milk, frozen meats, fruit juice, canned goods and dry goods .
Peter’s Pantry sends trucks daily to food stores and food businesses which donate their excess food items. Peter’s Pantry is also a designated recipient of Feeding America and other food banks and parties, which are resources for food.
The pantry also receives donated food from individuals, at the conclusion of numerous events and celebrations from clubs, organizations, food drives and many special events.
Upon receipt of food, the pantry volunteers sort and store the food. On weekdays, the perishable food is removed from the walk-in coolers and freezers, dry goods are removed from storage, and the food is displayed on rows of tables and shelves for recipients to select the kind and quantity which meets their needs.
The day-to-day operations of Peter’s Pantry are coordinated by our manager, Charles Shulander, who organizes all volunteers, oversees the registration process of recipients, and schedules pickups and deliveries from our community partners.
Peter’s Pantry is located at 843 South 21st Street, Manitowoc, on the Northeast corner of 21st Street and Franklin Avenue. We are fortunate to have a building that is well suited to our needs. It contains two large 20 x 20 foot walk-in coolers and two large 20 x 20 foot walk-in freezers. This allows us the ability to collect and distribute a healthier selection of foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, dairy items, eggs and fresh fruit juices.
Our building has a large inside loading dock and a basement storage area where we sort, store and rotate our food products, along with a large distribution room and an inside waiting area for the convenience of our recipients.
While on the road you may have seen one of our vehicles. Everyday our drivers go out on pickup runs to local food distributors and come back with pallets full of food products for distribution.
The pantry has a fleet of 4 trucks that require maintenance due to the many miles required to pick up donations.
An average day at Peter’s Pantry begins at 6:00 AM and ends about 1:00 PM. The day begins with the drivers leaving on specified collection routes. The volunteers will begin to unload the coolers and freezers into the distribution room to prepare for the recipients arrival at 9:30 am.
Recipients are brought into the distribution room in order, are helped by our caring volunteers and are allowed to make their selections. Their shopping carts are then weighed and recorded as the recipients load their selections into their bags. During this time volunteers may also be needed to unload pallets of food from the trucks, prepare food for distribution, sort and store food products, or clean and maintain the facility and trucks.