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Waupaca food pantry benefits from ‘novel’ approach

Book club challenges, inspires others to help the needy

March 11, 2013

WAUPACA -- Community First Credit Union's Julie Thompson found a ‘novel’ approach to helping out a great cause and inspired others along the way.

A member of the Red & White book club, Thompson, a loan originator in CFCU’s Waupaca branch, and her nine other book club members challenged other book clubs in the area to make donations to aid the Waupaca Area Food Pantry.

Over a six-month period, the four book clubs donated a total of 1,682 pounds of food and supplies to the pantry, including canned fruit, toiletries, paper products, condiments, baking supplies and canned meats.

The initiative also prompted other social groups to help out the food pantry and led to T-Dub’s Pub, a popular downtown Waupaca bar-restaurant, becoming an official food pantry drop off site.

“We determine ahead of time what the product is we collect based on the needs of the food pantry,” said Thompson of her team that included three other CFCU member/owners. “So we can shop all month.”

Thompson’s book club meets monthly in the homes of members, one of whom delivers the donated products to the food pantry afterward. “I am so proud of my team and how much good a small group can do,” she said.

Red & White Book Club reading list (author)
Before I go to Sleep (Steven J. Watson)
The Weird Sisters (Eleanor Brown)
The Dressmaker (Kate Alcott)
The Tiger’s Wife (Tea Obreht)
The Murderous Urges of Ordinary Women (Lois Metzler)
The Paris Wife (Paula McLain)
Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen)
Room (Emma Donaghue)
The Forgotten Garden (Kate Morton)
The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein)
State of Wonder (Ann Patchett)
Sarah’s Key (Tatiana de Rosnay)