Community responds to emergency food call with ‘outpour’ of support

Following an emergency plea for food and monetary donations on Tuesday, the Guest House of Milwaukee was able to stock its fridges and freezers with enough food to feed its 101 residents through the week and beyond.


Thanks to the generosity of families, community groups and businesses, the homeless shelter, which caters to men, received a surplus of food for lunch and dinner meals.

“It’s been a great outpouring of support that we’re just so grateful for,” said Erik Koepnick, manager of volunteer services and communications for the Guest House.

Earlier this week, the shelter exhausted its food supply and was concerned it would not be able to feed its homeless residents dinner on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

Milwaukee responded to the organization’s concern with sandwiches, pizzas, hams, deli meats and more. Along with receiving support from individual families, the Guest House took in donations from Hunger Task Force and Outpost Natural Foods in Bay View.

“I’m so proud of Milwaukee for opening up and filling our need,” Koepnick said.

Typically the shelter experiences a lull in donations following the holiday season due to donor fatigue, Koepnick said, but it’s rare to have such a minimal food supply for three days in a row.

While Koepnick is confident that the Guest House will have enough food to last through the winter with the community’s rediscovered awareness of its needs, he said the shelter is still looking for individuals, families and area groups to continue providing meals.

The shelter would appreciate donations of 100 to 200 sandwiches for lunches or donations of dinner meals to feed all 101 men on a once-a-month basis, he said.

To learn more about donation opportunities, visit or call 414-345-3240.

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