Hunger Task Force Receives $750,000 Donation from Kohl’s to Help Reduce Food Insecurity in Milwaukee

Feb 9, 2023

Many families and seniors will need additional help with food as extra COVID FoodSharepayments end and inflation continues

On Tuesday, February 8, Kohl’s announced it is continuing its 14-year support and partnership with Hunger Task Force with a $750,000 donation to provide healthy food for families and children facing hunger. The Kohl’s funding will be used to address current food donation shortages with the purchase of ten truckloads of food for Hunger Task Force’s network of 68 food pantries, homeless shelters, senior dining sites and soup kitchens and will provide kids free meals this summer through the Milwaukee Summer Meals program.

“The work Hunger Task Force does on a daily basis to help local families through their network of food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, The Farm, and more is truly inspiring and impactful,” said Tara Geiter, Kohl’s director of community relations. “As a proud member of this community for more than 60 years, we’re honored to be in a position to continue our partnership with Hunger Task Force and support their critical efforts to feed kids and families throughout Milwaukee.”

The Kohl’s donation comes at a critical time as the federal government recently announced that households will receive their last extra COVID-19 FoodShare payment (Emergency Allotment) on February 19, 2023. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, every Wisconsin household on FoodShare received two monthly payments. The first monthly payment is the household’s “Regular FoodShare Amount,” and the second monthly payment is the “Extra COVID FoodShare Payment.” The payments in the second half of the month are the ones that will end.

“Low-income families are going to be hurt the most. The average person on FoodShare is going to lose $132. Seniors are probably going to be the most impacted group in our community,” said Jonathan Hansen, development director for Hunger Task Force. “Many seniors will see their FoodShare benefits go from $281 to just $23 per month. If you think about how far $23 a month can carry you in the grocery store these days, there’s going to be a struggle.”

Hunger Task Force anticipates that more families will find themselves rationing and eating fewer meals or smaller portions. Adults may skip meals to make sure kids have enough to eat.

“Additional FoodShare benefits really was vital for families to meet their food security needs, particularly at a time when we see rising costs at the grocery store and everywhere else,” said Bill Schmitt, UMCS Executive Director. “We will be here. We will do everything in our power to make sure that our shelves are continued to be stocked.”

Currently, Milwaukee pantry traffic has seen more than 17,700 people monthly and is expected to rise with extra COVID-19 FoodShare payments ending and the rising cost of food and gas.

Hunger Task Force is grateful for the support of Kohl’s and their incredible team of volunteers who help ensure healthy meals are on the tables of kids, families, and seniors. Community businesses, foundations and organizations are encouraged to join Kohl’s and support Hunger Task Force through donations and volunteerism.

Community members can also help make a difference by donating online to Hunger Task Force. When they are in the grocery store, they can pick up extra food items and drop them off in-person at Hunger Task Force, 5000 W. Electric Ave in West Milwaukee.

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.