The Racine County Food Bank Is Passionate about Food Security

Impact Partner Spotlight 

Racine County Food Bank

Aug. 24, 2021

The Racine County Food Bank sorting area - several rows of white tables, each piled either with white Food Bank boxes or with stacks of household staples. Signs above the space label stations for different types of food, such as peanut butter and dinner starch. In the background, pallets full of cans are stacked to the ceiling of the warehouse.The Racine County Food Bank works to efficiently and effectively obtain resources and facilitate the distribution of food and other necessities, through a network of direct service providers, to individuals and families of Racine County who are in need. By doing so, it equalizes the distribution of resources throughout the community and advocates on behalf of the community to reduce hunger.

What first drew you into the work of the Racine County Food Bank?

I started on the fundraising committee for the Racine County Food Bank's “Thoughts for Food” fundraiser in 1998 and eventually moved up to chair the event a few years later. Through that event, I became passionate about food security issues in our community, and when my predecessor announced he was leaving in 2004, I applied for the position and was hired.

How has the Food Bank adapted over time—whether that’s in the last year due to the pandemic, or since its start as an organization?

We have successfully increased food and fundraising efforts, which has enabled us to increase capacity with a focus on nutrition. 

Can you share a story about a moment you saw your work leave a positive impact in someone’s life?

Since we’re not a direct service provider, we don’t interact heavily with the individuals receiving assistance. That said, numerous donors have mentioned that they support us because they once received our supplies and really appreciated the assistance. Service clubs delivering our holiday meal boxes have also returned to relay heartfelt stories of sincere appreciation from families that were receiving them.

What is some of the impact the Racine County Food Bank has brought to the community in its lifespan?

Through the funding we receive from United Way, and collaboration with other community stakeholders that fight for food security for our friends and neighbors in need, we have built a solid safety net to ensure that everyone has enough to eat.

Dan Taivalkoski is the executive director of the Racine County Food Bank. Vaccinated individuals are invited to join the Food Bank on a Saturday in October to help build 2,000 holiday meal boxes; email dant@racinecountyfoodbank if interested. For other ways to support, read their previous spotlight, watch their impact tour and mark the calendar for their Thoughts for Food event on March 5.