For many years, acquiring a truck was at the top of Stepping Stones of Dunn County’s wish list.

The need was undeniably clear. Ever since the food rescue program began, volunteers equipped with freezer blankets provided their own vehicles to pick up soon-to-expire groceries and produce from local markets. And transporting food to the weekly “pop-up” pantries in Colfax, Downsville, Ridgeland and Sand Creek involved either borrowing – or sometimes renting – a box truck.

In November, the nonprofit’s long-held dream finally came to fruition courtesy of focused government funding combined with donor-advised contributions from COVID-19 Response Fund Grants through the Community Foundation of Dunn County, made possible by a gift from Jim and Gail Haemmerle.

After searching for the best deal, Stepping Stones Executive Director Padraig Gallagher found a 2014 Freightliner truck, complete with a 24-foot refrigerated box and a 3,000 lb. lift gate: “It is a game-changer for our food pantry programs. It allows us to serve the food insecure of Dunn County in ways that we haven’t been able to before.”

By early December, the bright white truck was parked at Stepping Stones in full view of passersby on Stout Road. Visible to up to 18,000 vehicles a day and even more in use, applying the logo to the box of the truck and soliciting sponsorship became the next steps in the process.

Reaching out to several local businesses, Gallagher explained, “We looked for one sponsor to help ensure that Stepping Stones keeps a reliable and safe vehicle on the road for years to come. Funding will be used for preventive maintenance, repairs and the eventual replacement of the current truck.”

The 3-year contract comes with an option to extend the agreement and includes the sponsor’s logo on the truck. 

“WESTconsin Credit Union quickly responded and was a joy to work with,” Gallagher said. “Stepping Stones is delighted by the support that WESTconsin has shown to our programs and the community. The delivery sponsorship will allow us to transport and distribute food throughout Dunn County!”

Pledging the credit union’s ongoing support to Stepping Stones, WESTconsin’s Chief Experience Officer Stephanie Rasmussen said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor the Stepping Stones food delivery program for those in need.”

Barbara Lyon is the communications specialist for Stepping Stones of Dunn County. She can be reached at 715-235-2920 or

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Barb Lyon - Communications Specialist - Stepping Stones of Dunn County

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