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UWL Golden Key students drop off donations at WAFER Food Pantry

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - On Friday morning, students from UW-L dropped off food and toiletries donations as part of their involvement in the organization Golden Key.

Golden Key is an organization that does a lot of volunteering within the community and on campus. They have been around for about 30 years.

"One of our main goals each year is to have a certain amount of co-sponsored events with other groups on campus, as well as a certain amount in community volunteer work," said Isabel Bauer, treasurer of Golden Key.

Bauer has been a part of Golden Key for almost two years. She explained that they held a "soup and soap" drive in which they collected some food but a lot of toiletries in order to donate them to WAFER Food Pantry.

"We were looking for things to do in the community and some of us had seen a social media post floating around where a lot of food banks are looking more for the toiletry items that they don't get very often that people need," said Bauer.

She explained that they did a collection throughout the month of March and received over 150 pounds of items to donate.

"As a full-time college student, you don't really get that many opportunities, you don't really get to get out into the community, especially during COVID. So, knowing that this is a way we can give back, even with the pandemic, it's really meaningful. A lot of us I don't think get out of our house much anymore so knowing that we can help in some way is really important," said Bauer.

Erin Waldhart, executive director of the WAFER Food Pantry, said to have students or anyone bring in donations is really cool and important.

"Food donations are really critical for yes, providing food to get out on the shelves to give out to people, but also it's about providing variety. A lot of times when we purchase food, it's in large quantities and it's all the same, that's how we get the best price, but when people hold a food drive, it provides a lot more variety that we wouldn't normally provide to our patrons," said Waldhart.

She explained that they take donations any time they are open and they are always greatly appreciated for anyone interested in helping out.

According to WAFER's website, people can drop off donations to their facility at 403 Causeway Blvd. in La Crosse during business hours Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 12:45 pm and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 4:00 pm to 7:45 pm.

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Rylie Kyhn

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