Where your United Way donations go - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Where your United Way donations go: a look inside the Community Table

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The United Way is taking a more preventative approach when it comes to helping our community. Recently, WQOW News 18 has been taking a look at some specific area resources the United Way supports through your donations.

Community Table Director, Rachel Keniston, says, "Our doors are open for people for whatever reason they may need a meal. We don't judge."

On an average day more than 140 people are dished up a meal at The Community Table

Community Table Onsite Supervisor and volunteer, Jim Gilmore, says, "You know in seeing a young child that's hungry, it just kind of broke up my heart that there's just no reason for children not to have some food."

Keniston says, "I would say 93 percent of the people who come here are living at the low end of poverty."

United Way Executive Director, Jan Porath, says, "This really helps satisfy one of the most basic needs people have, is nutrition."

And while one meal may seem like a temporary fix, the leftover effects are lasting.

Keniston says, "We've had people tell us; this saved me from becoming homeless."

Porath says, "When people know there are supports and the community cares, that changes their mindset in terms of maybe being perpetually a part of the system, to break away from that cycle perhaps."

"Financially, if you use us just two times a week, consistently, that's money that you can help bank so that you can make sure that you have a months rent ahead," explains Keniston.  

And in order to prepare a meal a day for dozens, The Community Table relies on volunteers and funding providers like the United Way.  

Porath says, "Even though an individual who might be a donor isn't necessarily getting the services, the Community Table does impact the community as a whole and therefore affects everybody."

"Taking care of the people in our neighborhoods and in our community is so important," says Gilmore.  

Keniston says, "It makes it a solid community. It makes it safer for all of us."

The United Way is now focused on three key areas to help area residents and families:  health, income and education.  

To learn more, click here.

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