June 1 2020 11:01 AM

Hunger Task Force issues $1M challenge to support emergency food partners statewide

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

In celebration of World Milk Day, Hunger Task Force is announcing The Dairy Match—a match program possible thanks to a substantial $1M donation from Aqualia International Foundation. Throughout the month of June, Hunger Task Force challenges the public to donate to the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program. All donations will be matched with the goal to contribute $2M in grant support to dairy farmers, farm cooperatives and their local producers throughout Wisconsin.

After seeing the success of the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program, Hunger Task Force decided to direct the new $1M Aqualia funding—in addition to the hopeful $1M public contribution—as grant awards for members within the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin.

“Hunger Task Force is truly excited to celebrate World Milk Day with the announcement of this million dollar challenge grant,” said Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Hunger Task Force. “Together with Wisconsin Dairy Farmers and their Wisconsin based producers, we can increase access to fresh Wisconsin Dairy products for hungry people across our fine State. We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received and have passed along the goodness by getting milk and cheese to Free, Local and Independent food pantries and food banks across Wisconsin. We encourage people who can give to this challenge grant to help farms and famers while also feeding the hungry.”

The initial Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program, launched April 15, offered a unique opportunity to connect Free, Local and Independent member organizations of the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin to valuable dairy products for hungry families statewide. To date, the program has moved 48,600 gallons of fresh Wisconsin milk and 127,250 pounds of cheese to nearly 85 statewide emergency food sites to help feed hungry families.

Hunger Task Force will use the funds raised during The Dairy Match to distribute up to $2M worth of grants to food programs throughout Wisconsin to support the continued work of the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program. This funding will connect struggling dairy farmers in Wisconsin directly to the food pantry or program in their immediate area.

“It seems many communities suffer along with our tribal communities throughout this unforeseen pandemic,” said Sara Peterson, Community Health Director for the Ho-Chunk Nation. “Today, a Nation was fed. Today, we were not overlooked or put last in line. The gratitude expressed at the distribution sites is indescribable. The spirits of our community members have been lifted and we are extremely grateful. Pihinagigiwi (You’ve done well for us.).”

The Federation is a coalition of partner food pantries and food banks who do not charge to distribute their food. Members share resources, food and best practices amongst one another. The list of participating member organizations for The Dairy Match grant include:

  • Antigo Area Community Food Pantry
  • Barron Area Food Pantry
  • Bayfield Area Food Pantry
  • Beyond Blessed Food Pantry
  • The Brick Ministries
  • Cable Food Shelf
  • Cashton Cupboard and Closet
  • Community Food Pantry
  • Community Hunger Solutions
  • The Community Space
  • Cornucopia Food Shelf
  • Couleecap, Inc.
  • Crusaders of Justicia
  • Durand Area Food Pantry
  • Edgerton Community Outreach
  • Family Pathways Food Shelf
  • First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry
  • First United Methodist Church Pantry
  • FOOD Pantry Serving Waukesha Co.
  • Full Shelf Food Pantry
  • Grow It Forward, Inc.
  • His Hands Extended Food Pantry
  • The F.R.E.S.H. Project
  • Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Hunger Task Force of La Crosse
  • Indianhead Community Action Agency
  • Interfaith Food Pantry of Portage Co.
  • Journey Church
  • Kenosha Achievement Center
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lakes Superior Chippewa Indians of WI
  • Lake Geneva Food Pantry
  • Loyal Area Food Pantry
  • Mellen Helping Hands Food Shelf
  • Menomonie Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Food Distribution
  • Mercer Food Pantry
  • Mukwonago Food Pantry
  • Neighbor for Neighbor
  • The Neighbor’s Place
  • Northwoods Community Food Shelf
  • Oneida Nation Emergency Food Pantry
  • Paul’s Pantry
  • Prescott Area Food Pantry
  • Racine County Food Bank
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Food Distribution
  • River Falls Community Food Pantry
  • The Sharing Center
  • Trinity Lutheran Food Pantry
  • Sokaogon Mole Lake Chippewa Community Food Distribution
  • Sheboygan County Food Bank
  • Soup or Socks (SOS)
  • Southern Lakes Area Love, Inc.
  • St. John’s UCC Food Shelf
  • Stockbridge
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Aging Department
  • St. Joseph Food Program
  • South Wood Emerging Food Shelf
  • Sussex Outreach Services
  • UW-La Crosse Student Food Pantry
  • Walworth County Resource Center & Food Pantry
  • Waushara County Food Pantry
  • The Salvation Army of Beloit, Janesville, Fond du Lac, Fox Cities, Chilton, Chippewa Valley, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oak Creek Oshkosh, Racine, Sheboygan, Superior, Waukesha and Wausau
  • Beyond Blessed Food Pantry

“Oh my goodness, this will definitely help us. We have three teenagers in the house,” said one dairy recipient in Manitowoc. “[Many] people from the company we worked at were let go. Going from making a decent living to no income has crushed my soul. Thank you very much.”

Additionally, several Wisconsin companies will receive funding support they need to stay afloat, including—to name a few:

  • Associated Milk Producers Inc. in Portage
  • Baker Cheese Factory in St. Cloud
  • Burnett Dairy Cooperative in Grantsburg
  • Cascade Cheese Company in Cascade
  • Cedar Crest Specialties, Inc. in Cedarburg
  • Cedar Valley Cheese Inc. in Belgium
  • Chalet Cheese Cooperative in Monroe
  • CROPP Cooperative in La Farge
  • Dairyfood USA, Inc. in Blue Mounds
  • Dairyland Trading LLC in DePere
  • Foremost Farms in Baraboo
  • Grande Cheese Company in 6 counties
  • Grassland Dairy Products, Inc. in Greenwood
  • Holland’s Family Cheese in Thorp
  • Kemps Dairy LLC in Cedarburg
  • Klondike Cheese Factory in Monroe
  • LaClare Farms Specialties in Malone
  • Lamers Dairy, Inc. in Appleton
  • Land O’Lakes Industrial Cheese in Kiel
  • Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc in Monroe
  • Nasonville Dairy in Marshfield
  • Pagels Ponderosa in Kewaunee
  • Pine River Pre-Pack, Inc in Newton
  • Sartori Company in Plymouth
  • Sassy Cow Creamery, LLC in Columbus
  • Shullsburg Creamery II in Shullsburg
  • Venture Dairy Cooperative
  • Wakker Cheese in Kewaunee
  • Westby Coop Creamery in Westby
  • Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa
  • Winona Foods, Inc. in Green Bay
  • Wisconsin Aging and Grading Cheese, Inc. in Kaukuana & Little Chute
  • Yodelay Yogurt in Madison

Hunger Task Force encourages swift and generous financial support from the community to match the $1M Dairy Match. All funds will not only bring fresh milk and cheese to struggling families across the state, but will support Wisconsin dairy farmers and small businesses that help make Wisconsin unique. Donations can be made at www.HungerTaskForce.org/dairy.