About us

Our Mission

Friedens is a network of food pantries in Milwaukee nourishing the body, mind, and soul. We believe that a dependable supply of food is a means of bringing hope and dignity to our community.

Our Story

At Friedens we bring together a team of people who donate food, finances, time, tears, and talent to help us make sure that people can access the food they desperately need.  At the base of the ladder, we know that without food in ones cupboards one cannot have a real sense of peace.  Our food pantry network is the base of what we do, our foundation.

A picture of Friedens United Church of Christ

Meet Our Staff

Sophia Torrijos

Executive Director

“Food is much more than a basic physical need, it binds us together as a human family. We laugh, cry, and build community around the table. To live a full life we need our hearts nourished as well as our bodies.”

Aleka shewczyk

Operations Manager

I believe every single person deserves access to healthy foods. This is where nourishment begins, but it extends far beyond the limited context of diet. Nourishment includes anything we consume into our bodies, minds and souls. It affects our physical and mental health and subsequent happiness. My work at Friedens is dedicated to nourishing Milwaukee’s at-risk community, and through this work I am also nourished.

Cheryl Ousley

Site Manager (Coggs & Hope House)

“Peace is being in a place where I am able to help others meet their needs and develop relationships with the communities we serve. Nourishment is being fulfilled in every aspect of life, starting with feeding the body…I love being able to work with and around people who are like family, who have the same heart to serve others as I do.”

Max Ramsey

Site Manager (Despensa de la Paz)

“What we can control is how we value one another, and care for one another’s concerns. We can control our attitude and our behavior. So much beyond that is beyond our control right now. Today, we can love one another, and put the needs of others before our own. This is our community. This is our way.”

Cynthia Wilson

Site Manager (Zion Rock)

” I love being a volunteer. I feel joyful, knowing that we are helping to feed children and adults who need food. We treat each patron with dignity and respect. We laugh, share stories, share recipes, and sometimes share a tear or two with someone who is really going through hard times.”

Katrina Ramsey

Volunteer Manager

“Nourishment can have multiple meanings. It may be on the surface the substance of food, but to me it goes much deeper. It is the substance of things we cannot see nor touch. It is the revitalization of hope and listening to someone who needs to be heard.” 

Sean McGibany

Volunteer Manager

“Nourishment is about caring for the whole person, not just providing someone with food but doing so in a way that also gives them dignity and respect. I enjoy being able to serve our community members and provide physical needs for them, and also giving our volunteers the opportunity to make a difference and use their abilities to help others!”

Nina Gaulin

Food Center Coordinator

“Food is not just something we put in our bodies; it’s a way of connecting with others, learning something new, of treating your mind and your body with respect… The most rewarding part of working at Friedens is the opportunity to learn everyone’s stories.”

Our Board of Directors

Friedens couldn't operate without our amazing volunteers - including our board!

Learn more about our Board of Directors

“It is with a grateful heart to serve Friedens Community Ministries in a leadership position as a board member and as the chairman of the board for the past several years. We have grown as an organization from two pantries to four pantries with service to all parts of the city. There are hundreds of volunteers who donate thousands of hours led by a team of dedicated core staff who give their best every day. We know that we will not end hunger in our lifetime, but we also know those we serve will receive our very best with dignity and respect. Dignity, respect, kindness, and compassion make this organization different.”

Dr. David Nelson

Former Board president

Our Community Leaders

Our volunteers, like Mika and Meri, inform the work and direction of our ourganization.

People, like Adrian, serve our community with dignity and respect and live in the neighborhoods we serve.

Schedule a Tour!

Interested in getting a tour of one or all of our pantries? Sign-up below!

Learn More About Us

Read about our financial reports, newsletters, and annual reports in our archive!

Interested in Joining our Team?

Looking to become a member of our wonderful staff? Are you committed to the Friedens community, and want to offer your skills and time to a great cause? Check out our current job opportunities below