CONTACT:     Kris Tazelaar, Communications Manager, Second Harvest Foodbank, 608-216-7206,

MADISON, Wis., September 18, 2019 – Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin announced today it has received a $3,000 grant from The Stateline Community Foundation’s Community Impact Grant Program to fund the Merrill Elementary School Pantry in Beloit.

Too hungry to learn, hunger deprives our youth of their education. First through fifth-graders who are food insecure are found to be more likely to have repeated a grade and to score below average on achievement test scores than their food secure peers. Children of hungry families are also twice as likely as their food secure peers to score low on tests of attention and emotional functioning; they are also absent from school twice as many days as children who did not experience food insecurity.

In 2015 in Beloit, thanks to an effort between Caritas Food Pantry, Merrill Elementary, the School District of Beloit and Second Harvest Foodbank, we launched the Merrill School Pantry to serve one of the most impoverished areas in Beloit. The pantry is open weekly and all year round to student families, including students and families from other schools.

According to Michelle Orge, President & CEO of Second Harvest, “The reason for the pantry is simple: help kids perform at their best. When children are not hungry, they perform better in school.”

About Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin began working with local hunger-relief agencies in 1986. It helps end hunger in 16 southwestern Wisconsin counties through food distribution to its partner agencies, promotion of outside food assistance programs like FoodShare, and raising awareness of hunger. As southwestern Wisconsin’s largest hunger-relief charity it meets nearly one million requests for help each year. From July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 Second Harvest, together with its partner agencies and programs, provided 14.2 million meals.  It is one of 200 members of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. For more information, visit

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