The newly announced Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program—a partnership between Hunger Task Force, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection—is in full swing. The first 2,480 gallons of fresh, whole milk were delivered to Hunger Task Force on Friday and has been distributed to local food pantries.
Hunger Task Force has committed up to $1 million to support the purchase, processing and distribution of milk from Wisconsin dairy farmers for hungry families throughout the state. With processing support from Kemps in Cedarburg and transportation support from Engelhardt Dairy in Kewaskum, milk deliveries will begin on April 27 to members of the Hunger Relief Federation across Wisconsin.
Milk isn’t the only dairy item being produced. Hunger Task Force is also working with several Wisconsin cheese producers to offer variety and versatility to hungry families. Chalet Cheese Cooperative is one such organization that plans to produce award-winning Baby Swiss cheese for distribution. Chalet Cheese is a small cheese factory owned by 13 family farms in Green County, Wis. whose farmers and cheesemakers are heavily involved in the organization’s decisions and operations.
“Chalet Cheese Co-op is grateful to be partnering with Hunger Task Force during this trying time,” said Mike Hlubek, General Manager of Chalet Cheese. “We are honored to provide our nutritious cheese to the many people struggling to put food on their table. Hunger Task Force is not only feeding people in need, but is also helping to keep our historic Wisconsin farmer-owned cheese factory in business.”
Chalet Cheese Cooperative was founded in 1885 by five dairy farmers and today continues to work solely with its members to supply milk. They specialize in making Limburger, Brick, Baby Swiss, and Swiss, with an emphasis on top quality and true workmanship. The quality of Chalet's cheeses are recognized often, winning numerous awards in national and worldwide cheese competitions.
In addition to Chalet Cheese Cooperative, Hunger Task Force will also be working with Clock Shadow Creamery in Milwaukee to create and distribute cheese curds, Rolling Hills Dairy Producers in Monroe for cheese curds, and Winona Foods, Inc. in Green Bay for cheese shreds and slices. This cheese will be produced and distributed statewide through Hunger Task Force to members of the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin weekly for the next six weeks
“It’s been a pleasure working with the thoughtful, caring people in Wisconsin’s dairy industry to get this milk and cheese to hungry families,” said Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Hunger Task Force. “To be able to support Wisconsin farmers while also getting food to those who need it is difference-making during the pandemic.”
Last week, long-time partner of Hunger Task Force, Sargento Foods Inc., announced that it would also be supporting Wisconsin families with a generous gift. The donation of $960,000 worth of cheese will benefit Hunger Task Force locally. The donation of 5.3 million cheese sticks will start arriving at Hunger Task Force next week and will continue for a total of six weeks.
Hunger Task Force will continue to support the purchase and production of milk and cheese statewide until any federal support is able to supplement Wisconsin’s dairy industry. In the meantime, Hunger Task Force graciously accepts and encourages the public to support the Dairy Recovery Program with an online donation. Funds committed to the recovery will be used to purchase, process and distribute milk and dairy products. Donations can be made at www.HungerTaskForce.org/dairy.
Hunger Task Force is Milwaukee’s Free & Local food bank and Wisconsin’s anti-hunger leader. The organization provides healthy and nutritious food to hungry children, families and seniors in the community absolutely free of charge. Hunger Task Force was founded in 1974 by a local advocacy group who then formed Milwaukee’s first food bank. Today, Hunger Task Force is 100% supported by the community and provides a safety net of emergency food with dignity to a network of 75 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Through legislative analysis, education and community organizing, Hunger Task Force continues to advocate for anti-hunger policy at the local, state and federal level. For more information, visit HungerTaskForce.org.