'A blessing:' Milwaukee charity hands out 100K+ meals amid COVID-19

A new charity on Milwaukee's north side is stepping up to feed those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m., members of Life Center Milwaukee hand out 4,000 meals to area families in need. 

Dustin Johnston

"We want to make sure nobody goes hungry, especially during these difficult times," said Dustin Johnston, director of leadership at Life College.

When the pandemic hit, members set a goal of giving away 100,000 meals by the end of the year from their new community center near 60th Street and Burleigh Street -- a milestone they surpassed in September.

"We didn't want to sit back and be passive in any of this," said Johnston. "Some people, their work has been affected, or even illness in the family or friends, and so, everybody is, at this point, starting to know someone who has been affected if they themselves haven't been."

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Johnston, director of Life Leadership College, said they're not stopping at their goal. The weekend meal pickup continues through the end of the year. Participants simply have to drive up to the center and request a box of food. Often what they receive, though, is much more.   

"Every single person that's come through has been super kind and super thankful for anything that we're able to do to support them in and be a part of their lives in any small way that we're able to, and so it's been a blessing on both sides," said Johnston.

Members are now looking ahead at other ways they can give back, from planning 300 Thanksgiving meals over the holiday to starting up an after-school program in 2021. 

"This is just the beginning, and we want to continue to be able to serve this community in the best way possible," said Johnston.