New Berlin, Wis. – A coalition of 11 local businesses ended its first-ever joint food drive Wednesday by delivering more than 4,000 pounds of food and other items to the New Berlin Food Pantry.
A completely-filled dump truck owned by New Berlin-based Grounds Maintenance Services pulled up to the food pantry at 10 a.m. Wednesday, loaded with at least a dozen large barrels and a multitude of bags and boxes. A group of volunteers, many from the participating businesses, leapt to unload the donated cargo and bring it inside for sorting.
Jeanne Holden, director of the food pantry, said it was the single largest donation ever received.
“Thank you for your generosity and your caring,” she said. “I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving and a happy heart for what they’ve done today.”
The two-ton donation arrived as the food pantry, which serves 100 to 125 households per month, heads into a season of typically higher demand. The pantry serves individuals and families in New Berlin, Brookfield and Elm Grove.
Todd Ruedt, a Brookfield native and owner of Grounds Maintenance Services, praised the business coalition not only for the massive collection, but for raising awareness that hunger exists locally. Since Oct. 15, the businesses accepted donations of canned and boxed food, diapers, toilet paper, cleaning products and personal hygiene items. A few filled multiple collection barrels, which hold 300 pounds on average.
“We don’t really think about people going hungry in Brookfield, New Berlin and Elm Grove, which is probably because it’s never really talked about,” Ruedt said. “Everyone who joined in or donated to this effort can be proud that, together, we are helping the neediest in our communities, who are also our neighbors.”
Besides Grounds Maintenance Services, local businesses participating in the collection were:
• ActionCOACH of Elm Grove, 13150 Watertown Plank Road, Elm Grove
• Brookfield Dance Academy, 2945 N. Brookfield Road, Brookfield
• Charlie’s East Coast Hair Designs, 285 N. Janacek Road, Brookfield
• G2 Insurance Services, 14260 W. Greenfield Ave., Brookfield
• IMS Barter Trade Exchange, 16901 W. Glendale Drive, New Berlin
• Movin’ & Lubin’, 2350 S. Commerce Drive, New Berlin
• Shop to Carrie On, 16980 W. National Ave., New Berlin
• Soerens Ford, 18900 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield
• Source 1 Project Solutions, 3315 N. 124th St., Brookfield
• The Oilerie Brookfield, 17125C W. Bluemound Road, Brookfield
Founded in 1999, Grounds Maintenance Services offers a full range of landscaping and yard maintenance services, plus in-home Christmas tree delivery, holiday lighting setup and snow plowing.