Feeding America hosts its 16th annual Stuff the Bus Food Drive

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- For 14 years it has been a family tradition for the Wichmans to stop by the West Allis Pick 'N Save and stuff the bus.

"The kids every year they like to go do the shopping part so they pick out stuff they'd like, so we got a ton of mac and cheese of course and cereal and canned beans and stuff like that," said Andy Wichman.

The Wichman's are just some of many people donating to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin's Stuff the Bus Food Drive.

"I like to see a smile on people's faces and I like to give them an opportunity to gain a little bit more control of their life," said Melody Schuster as she was donating food.

Feeding America hopes to collect 250,000 pounds of non-perishable food items, along with frozen turkeys and hams.

They're also accepting monetary donations.

"$1 can feed 5 people and I've seen a lot of $20 going into that bucket so that's a great thing. $20 provides 100 meals for someone in need," said Feeding America Communications Manager Gina Styer.

330,000 people in Wisconsin rely on food from Feeding America.

With the temperatures dropping, 41% of those people have to choose between heating their home or putting food on the table.

But the visual of the bus filling up with food shows what can happen when a community comes together.

"It makes me feel very great inside because I know that I'm helping others who may not be as fortunate as us," said 9-year-old Keegan Wichman as he donated food.

And what better way to start Thanksgiving than by giving back to someone in need.

The stuff the bus food drive will be open until 6 p.m. the West Allis Pick 'N Save on Wednesday, November 27th.

FOX6 News has learned 252,323 pounds of food were collected during this event. The goal was 250,000. The last gift received was a $25,000 donation from a grandmother and her three grandchildren in West Bend. Last year, this family gave a $15,000 donation.