May Jefferson Award Winner: Carol Anderson

When Carol Anderson retired from teaching in the Black River Falls School District, she did not stop serving her community.  In fact, she began working on a big challenge: hunger.  

Her first step was learning about the issue.  She attended a forum focusing on a study called Hunger On Our Doorstep from the Wisconsin Council of Churches.  Next, she contacted churches in her county looking for others who also wanted to learn more.  Then, Carol taught an ecumenical group about the study which encouraged people to take action to fight hunger.

One result of her work is something called Friends Sharing Food.  The program began with the distribution of food bags for local elementary school children, many of whom struggled to find food over the weekend.  The program has grown.  It now includes a Food Shelf distributing food to more than 500 homes, a Neighborhood Food Pantry providing food to more than 220 homes, the Jackson County Food Pantry providing for more than 120 households.  Friends Sharing Food has also become responsible for pantries open monthly in nearby Alma Center, Brockway, Hixton, Humbird, Merrillan and Millston.  It’s an all volunteer project that began because Carol attended a meeting about ten years ago.

While she’s proud of what Friends Sharing Food does to help those who need some assistance, Carol says this is truly a community effort.  People who need food now have six opportunities every month to get that food for their families.

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