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About Us

Extended Hands Pantry is a volunteer-driven, faith-based, non-profit organization with a two-fold purpose. To provide groceries and other household items to those in need, and to provide tutoring for children in low income neighborhoods. 

Our food pantry puts an emphasis on providing culturally appropriate foods.  ​

Low reading and math achievement are still the rule for many children, In today's knowledge economy, success in school equips children with the tools to become tomorrow's leaders in our communities. 

Contact us to learn more and get involved.

Our Mission: Serve our area families and individuals with compassionate acts of love. Encourage, educate, and nourish our children as a servant-hearted expression of Jesus Christ

Nuestra mision: Servir a familias e individuos de nuestra zona con compasivos actos de amor. Alentar,

educar y nutrir a nuestros niños como una expresión de Jesucristo sirviendo de corazón.

Meet the Team

Andy Czerkas, Executive Director         Jenny Czerkas, Operations Director

For over 20 years Andy & Jenny have worked tirelessly to battle hunger. Starting in 2000 they organized monthly dinners and other events in low-income neighborhoods. In 2005, Andy & Jenny founded The River Food Pantry, a faith based non-profit, on Madison's north side, turning a small startup into the largest food pantry in Dane County. In her 12 years as Executive Director at The River Food Pantry Jenny developed a deep understanding of food insecurity and comprehensive knowledge of local food systems and food needs. Andy worked part time at The River and then full time when he retired from teaching in 2012. 


Over time Andy & Jenny became more concerned with childhood nutrition and its effect on learning. In 2016, they successfully conceived a lunch program, MUNCH, which would deliver nutritious lunches to several low income neighborhoods on the days when school was not in session. Andy & Jenny left The River in December of 2017.


Since then childhood nutrition and tutoring have become a focus for Andy & Jenny. They created a new non-profit, Extended Hands Pantry which has been providing healthy after school snacks and a light meal at the Packer and Northport Community Learning Centers along with also tutoring children. Andy and Jenny also tutored at the Mt Zion Baptist Church's Academic Learning Center during the 2019 – 2020 school year.

In 2020 during the Covid-19 crisis Extended Hands Pantry developed a partnership with Lighthouse Church and School to provide groceries, once a week, in a curbside pantry in the school parking lot. This new food pantry has been serving 60 to 100 families each week. We are presently working on creating permanent outdoor space for a food pantry at Lighthouse that would serve the school and surrounding neighborhoods. 

Staff

There are two part-time staff members at Extended Hands Pantry. Todd has been part of the team since the early 2000s, when he and his wife became founding donors of The River Food Pantry. Mandy joined Extended Hands Food Pantry at the beginning of 2023 to help with the burgeoning communications needs of two pantry locations, a warehouse, and a brand new indoor space.

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Board of Directors

  • Ric Hoerz 

    • President of the Board of Directors from 2013 – 2015 at REACH a Child Madison. ​

    • Chairman of Board Growth & Governance Committee from 2011 – 2013 at Urban K-Life in St. Louis.

  • Milsa Velazquez

    • Office Assistant at Pella Windows and Doors of Wisconsin.​

    • Often assists the pantry with bilingual editing. 

  • Rick Miles

    • Worked in CUNA Mutual’s IT Database group for 24 years and retired in 2014.

    • Served the Packer monthly dinners.   

    • Assisted in the build-out of the River Food 

  • Jim Bolt

  • Anna Campbell 

  • Fred Campbell 

  • Andy Czerkas

  • Jenny Czerkas 

  • Megan Davis

  • David Gibson

  • Pat Wongkit

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