Our Story

Our pantries exist by, with, and for our community

Our services grew from the social justice activism of the Friedens United Church of Christ in Milwaukee.

Under its former name of Friedens Inner City Ministries, Friedens Community Ministries has operated a food pantry since 1978 in Milwaukee’s near northwest side. The pantry began as a charitable activity of the parishioners of Friedens United Church of Christ. 

In the original parishioner’s native German language, “frieden” means “peace”. Believing there is no true peace without justice, and that nourishment was a fundamental right of citizens of a just society, the Food Pantry was one means by which Friedens parishioners reached out to their neighbors in need. Many of these neighbors were recent arrivals in the community surrounding the church at 13th Street and Juneau Avenue.

One of our founders says, “It started with $150 of food, a pick-up truck, and three individuals” who stood on a street corner of Milwaukee’s Southside and invited neighbors out for food and fellowship. Community members were asked what other resources were needed and invited to return the next week to help set up. The neighbors returned, bringing their friends and relatives. 

Our street corner community grew until we needed a permanent home, and expanded to include three additional sites where we continue service of raising all people up in hope and resiliency by providing nourishment for mind, body and soul. 

Friedens Pantries exists because of the support of our neighbors

With multiple food distribution programs that distribute more than 1.3 million pounds of food to our neighbors each year and wrap-around support that helps clients achieve a sense of belonging and empowerment, Friedens Pantries aims to end hunger and create a safe space for all. Make your impact today!