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Tomah Health Foundation Helps Hungry Families

Tomah Health Community Foundation vice president Jeremy Haldeman, left and Foundation president Brian Eirschele, presented a ceremonial check to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin media and public relations manager Kris Tazelaar Dec. 5.

The Tomah Health Community Foundation is helping get healthy food to struggling families in Monroe County. Foundation officials donated $2,500 to the Second Harvest Foodbank’s FoodShare Wisconsin program during an event at Tomah Health Dec. 5. “Food is such an important part of our lives, good food in particular,” foundation president Brian Eirschele said of the donation. “There’s a need for good food, which is essential to good diets and good health. We’re just fortunate that Second Harvest has people who are interested in taking care of us.”

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin media and public relations manager Kris Tazelaar said the foundation’s donation will support the Foodbank’s FoodShare program. “The way that Second Harvest works in 16 counties here in southwestern Wisconsin is through the generosity of groups just like the Tomah Health Foundation,” said Tazelaar. “They are making a huge difference in the Monroe County community and through Second Harvest we are able to provide much needed food to those families who are struggling with hunger right here in our community.”

It is the 10th year that the Foundation has supported Second Harvest. “We are just incredibly grateful for our long-standing relationship with the Tomah Health Community Foundation, and together we are really making a difference,” said Tazelaar.

Formerly known as food stamps, Second Harvest Foodbank’s FoodShare program allows eligible residents to receive a debit card that is loaded with FoodShare benefits that can be used at most grocery stores.
“Our FoodShare outreach is going to help folks understand what the program is, what are some of the eligibility requirements and what are some of the benefits that they could expect if they were to apply,” explained Tazelaar. “Most importantly, it actually helps people actually apply for the program because until they apply, they can’t get some of those benefits that can really make a difference in their lives.”

He added that while the FoodShare program helps ensure potentially eligible participants learn how to obtain benefits; it also meets community needs. In fiscal year 2023, Second Harvest assisted with the submission of 38 FoodShare Wisconsin applications in Monroe County, which generated 19,156 meals for food insecure Monroe County residents. The program also created $102,659 in economic impact in Monroe County.
“FoodShare numbers and application numbers, obviously fluctuate from year to year and they’re a little bit down now. But I think that’s for a lot of reasons,” said Tazelaar. “It’s a matter of us being able to get out there and reach more people to let them know about the benefits and let them know about the application process. The more people we can talk to, the more people will understand the benefits of the program.”

Second Harvest serves residents in Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Rock, Sauk and Vernon counties. Residents can learn if they are eligible for the program by visiting or by calling the FoodShare Help Line at 1-877-366-3635.

“There’s no shame in asking for help and FoodShare can make such a huge difference in the lives of those who do use it to really make ends meet,” said Tazelaar. “The true long-term goal is to end hunger.”

Tomah Health