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APPLETON — We Care Meals, a organization that has provided free meals to people in the Appleton area on
Christmas and Easter for more than 30 years, is looking for volunteers for this year’s Christmas meal.

“Drivers are always a need,” said Ed Rathsack, the founder of We Care Meals. “We also need help with prep on on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”

This year, in 2021, the meal will be delivery only.

Rathsack, who began offering free Christmas and Easter meals more than 30 years ago, said he goes all over the Fox River Valley.

“We go down to Neenah and Menasha, to Appleton, up to Kimberly, Little Chute and Kauauna,” Rathsack said naming a few of the communities his drivers will stop in this year.

Rathsack said they delivered 1,500 meals at Easter, and expects the Christmas list to be about the same.

It’s a community effort to get the word out, too.

Rathsack said he provides flyers to all the police departments in the Fox Valley, so that officers can hand them out from their squad cars when they come across someone who they think could use a nice Christmas meal.

He also distributes flyers to the Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill, the Salvation Army and more.

Meal delivery reservations are required by noon on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

In order to make your reservation, please call (920) 358-9671.

There is a great need for volunteers this year to help with prep and setup on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, 2021. If you are able to volunteer, please call (920) 731-7867.

Of course the program needs money to run as well. Rathsack said he works with Goodwill to manage the money part of it, so he can concentrate on the meals.

If you are able to donate, send a check We Care Meals, c/o Goodwill Industries, 1800 Appleton Rd., Menasha, WI 54952.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.