HISTORY ABOUT US
FOCUS was formed in February 2020 when the South Wood Emerging Pantry Shelf (SWEPS), The Neighborhood Table (TNT) and the Rapids Family Backpacks (RFB) programs merged as one nonprofit organization. FOCUS combines the individual strengths of SWEPS, TNT and RFB into a unified endeavor that is greater, more potent, more convenient, and more effective in addressing food insecurity than any individual program alone.
THE FOUNDING SERVICES OF FOCUS
FOCUS FOOD PANTRY
The FOCUS Food Pantry originally began in 1975 as SWEPS (South Wood Emergency Pantry Shelf) to provide food to area residents only in emergency situations. SWEPS expanded dramatically over the last 45 years to provide food on a regular basis to those in need in South Wood County. In early 2020, SWEPS merged with The Neighborhood Table and Rapids Family Backpacks to become FOCUS (Feeding Our Communities with United Services). In 2020, the pantry provided food, hygiene products and educational services to over 6,300 households and nearly 18,500 people.
Focus Neighborhood Meals
FOCUS Neighborhood Meals evolved from The Neighborhood Table (TNT), a free community meal service that began with a meal served to approximately 50 people New Year’s Eve of 2003. TNT grew substantially since 2003 and had offered prior to the pandemic meals every Thursday and the last two Tuesdays of the month. Approximately 150 meals were served on Tuesdays and about 280 meals each Thursday. Now meals are offered every Thursday until further notice.
FOCUS FAMILY BACKPACKS
FOCUS Family Backpacks, formerly known as Rapids Family Backpacks, was established in 2011 to assist children with food insecurity over the weekend while away from school. Students take home a nondescript backpack filled with food items and a Kwik Trip voucher for perishable food items. The program currently runs from October to May and assists about 85 families.
NEWS STAY UP TO DATE
OUR IMPACT PRIMARY SERVICES
FOCUS has three primary services – the Food Pantry (formerly known as SWEPS), Neighborhood Meals (formerly TNT) and Family Backpacks (formerly RFP) to help people in need of food in our area.
On average, since the beginning of 2021, FOCUS has provided 48,132 meals a month to help those with food insecurity in our community. In addition, 135,878 meals per month were provided as a result of hosting mobile food pantries.
If you would like to help support our efforts to help others in need, please donate now.