Home Community ‘Apple Jam’ to meet food needs in Kaukauna

‘Apple Jam’ to meet food needs in Kaukauna


Get ready for an “a-peeling” opportunity on Saturday with community well being at its core.

Make plans to head out for the Electric City Apple Jam. The pop-up food pantry event will offer up bag after bag of fresh apples along with chicken and other food items.

Organizers are hoping for a turnout that’s as good as the puns are bad.

Kaukauna Mayor Tony Penterman said it’s a prime example of what strong communities do. We need to look out for one another during tough times, and the pandemic has tightened finances for many families.

“People are struggling right now,” he said. “There are people out of work, working reduced hours and at home watching the kids.”

Organizers are looking to put on a fun event. Everyone is welcome. Leave any embarrassment at home.

It’ll take place outside the Kaukauna Public Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Volunteers will work to fill shelves and fridges — and provide a little live entertainment while the weather still allows. 

Apple Jam will feature a drive-through format keeping safety in mind with covid-19 flaring up in the region. Visitors will be able to place their orders from their cars and enjoy some live music before picking up their box of goodies at the end of the line. 

A-Town Unplugged, Lilie Fouts and Parker Collar are lined up to provide the soundtrack.

The event is an offshoot of the library’s innovative, Little Free Pantry program. 

Libraries have long made knowledge freely available to the community. In Kaukauna, they’ve also dedicated space for canned goods and other non-perishables that residents can take as needed.

It’s open during regular library hours.

Library Director Ashley Thiem-Menning said the pantry was the right fit for their extra space and fits the mission of the library as a community resource. They’re able to provide access to food, health products and baby needs to those in need and particularly those who work daytime hours.

It’s donor based. People drop off food, staff members check expiration dates and the goods are quickly put on the shelves. When they’re running low on specific items, the community has been quick to replenish them after calls are put out on social media.

It’s been well utilized. 

“It’s been a real blessing for our community,” she said.

Fall brought an overabundance of apples and plans for the drive-through event built from there.

Organizers anticipate they’ll have enough food to supply 100 families. 

Apple Jam welcomes anyone in need of a grocery boost. For that matter, those who know someone in need is welcome to come through on their behalf.

“We all need some help sometimes,” Penterman said. 

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