Bethel Home and Services has provided the building at 341 Black River Avenue in Westby for the Bethel Butikk Food Pantry and Thrift Shop for the past 6 years. Bethel Butikk is a volunteer operated program serving Vernon County and surrounding communities.
Volunteer coordinator Kathy Griffin coordinated schedules for over 90 volunteers from 18 area churches. Volunteers arrive early in the morning to sort donations of clothing and household items, clean, arrange displays and stock the food pantry shelves. Other volunteers work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the food pantry and thrift shop are open. They are also open till 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and the first Saturday of the month.
Other volunteers help with picking up food and transporting other items needed for the operation. Purchases of milk and groceries cost $23,468. When items can be purchased at Second Harvest in Madison, we get them at greatly reduced prices. With the addition of the coolers and freezers, we were also able to accept donations directly from local food suppliers. The value of food distributed this year was $350,000. We had 3,803 visits to the food pantry serving 14,003 people.
In the month of December our amazing volunteers gave out $300,000 worth of food and merchandise for Christmas.
Pastor Gary Daines, David Vosseteig and Charlene Pederson meet weekly as a mission committee to distribute funds to families for help with rent, utilities, heat, transportation and medical emergencies. Mission funds totaling $82,960 were distributed. The funds come from donations and proceeds of the thrift shop.
Anyone interested in volunteering may contact our new volunteer coordinator, Kathy Griffin, at 608-634-4208.