When Second Harvest Food Bank of Wisconsin gets its mobile food pantries to communities, more than 100 cars can line up, with some arriving three hours early to receive a bag of groceries. 

“That alone should speak to what the folks we support go through,” said Kris Tazelaar, the media and public relations manager with Second Harvest, which exists to end hunger in southern Wisconsin. The vision is that everyone has enough nutritious food to eat, Kris said. 

Hunger makes everything harder and lives can be changed with food. And, an ample supply of food exists to feed everyone in the state. 

Some 40% of food grown and manufactured in the United States never makes it to the table. 

“If we can capture half of that food, we can end hunger in this country,” he added. 

The food bank serves 16 Wisconsin counties, where 1 in 15 people struggle with hunger. That’s 88,000 individuals, including 1 in 11 children. In Dane County, 34,000 people are considered food insecure. 

More locally, Kris said the Waunakee Food Pantry saw twice the number of households visiting in 2023 than it did in 2021. 

Many families facing food insecurity are earning a wage that allows them to survive, but not thrive, and they earn too much to qualify for assistance such as FoodShare. 

“Second Harvest is here to fill that gap,” Kris said. 

The Food Bank employs 80 people at its location off of Pflaum Road. The warehouse is large enough to hold 1.3 to 1.4 million pounds of food, and has 8,000 square feet of freezer space and 4,900 square feet of cooler space. 

“We’re at capacity right now,” Kris said. “We’ve had to turn food away because we have no space for it.” 

Mainly, the food bank exists to support local pantries which support their communities, but it also does mobile food drives. 

The goals are to provide nutrition, food security and equity. Several of the programs Second Harvest has work toward those goals. 


Other News: 

-Jim Elvekrog said a number of members are paying their dues via check rather than credit card, as he has urged them to do to save on transaction fees.

-Ken Pesik presented a check for the proceeds from Wauktoberfest. Splitting the net profits up six ways among the service organizations, the club saw $8,200. The event netted over $40,000.

-Sarah Bonk from the Waunakee Professional Women organization is hoping a Rotarian will man the kettle corn machine at the Baker’s Bash, an event on Main and Baker streets featuring vendors, crafts and other activities May 4. 

-Carol Bleifield said the club has an exchange student lined up next year, a 16-year-old from Spain. The club has 2 families lined up but will need a third. 


-April 20, just before Earth Day, is the village-wide clean-up around Village Hall, the Village Center Pond, the library and dog park


Guests: Alicia W., guest of Carol Bleifield. Visiting Rotarians: None


Birthdays: Aug. 17, Andrew Hovde.


Anniversaries: None.


Greeters: April 18, Tracy Graber and Shauna Hughey; April 25, Troy Salisbury and Ken Pesik; May 2, Howard Teeter; May 9, John Cullen.


 To sign up to greet or to find out if you are greeting, visit: