Give the Gift of Healthy Food: Hunger Task Force and Johnson Controls Kick Off Annual “Food For Families” Holiday Drive

Oct 3, 2023

The holiday season is a time for joy, gratitude, and giving back to the community. However, for low-income families, the holidays can be especially challenging as they struggle to put food on the table while also trying to make the season special for their loved ones. It’s during these times that the Hunger Task Force “Food For Families” holiday drive becomes not just a tradition, but a lifeline for those in need.

“Now is a time to make a difference in Milwaukee and to help hungry families get through this upcoming holiday season in a way that brings them comfort and dignity,” says Sherrie Tussler, Hunger Task Force Chief Executive Officer.

As Hunger Task Force kicks off another season of giving, we are thrilled to highlight Johnson Controls as our annual sponsor, whose steadfast support has played a crucial role in making this program a lifeline for low-income families year after year.

The Food For Families holiday drive was first launched over four decades ago in partnership with WISN 12 and Hunger Task Force. What started as a simple food drive, with barrels placed across Milwaukee to collect healthy food items, has evolved into a community-wide effort that touches the lives of thousands of families and children in need.

Through the years, the program has expanded its reach, involving local businesses, schools, places of worship, service clubs, and coordinated community initiatives. It has grown in scale and impact, thanks to the unwavering support of sponsors like Johnson Controls.

Since 2006, Johnson Controls has been a dedicated sponsor of the Food For Families program, providing strong leadership and financial support that has allowed Hunger Task Force to make an even greater difference in the local community.

“We are thrilled to once again be the sponsor of this year’s Food For Families,” says Brenna Holly, Senior Director, Corporate Philanthropy for Johnson Controls. “Now, we’re calling on the community to join us in this effort and get involved by hosting a campaign of their own – whether that be hosting a Virtual Food Drive or traditional food drive.”

With Johnson Controls an avid supporter of the holiday drive, Hunger Task Force has been able to not only continue traditional food drives but also adapt to changing times. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic challenged Hunger Task Force to find new ways to support the community safely, Johnson Controls supported the launch of the first-ever Virtual Food For Families. This innovative approach allowed local businesses and groups to host virtual food drives, which gained support from across the country, ensuring that more families received the help they needed during a challenging year.

As we approach another season of giving, Hunger Task Force invites the community to join us in the Food For Families tradition. Whether you choose to host a virtual or traditional food drive or both, we are here to support your efforts. Hunger Task Force will provide you with food drive boxes, customized webpages, private links, or any combination that suits your group’s preferences.

The three easy steps to success are:

    1. Register Your Drive: Visit to register online. We will reach out to confirm your drive, answer your questions, and guide you through the process.
    2. Spread the Word: Bring your community together, virtually or in-person, by sharing your personalized link and setting up food drive boxes and posters for healthy and holiday food collection.
    3. Get Results: Set a goal and let the competitive spirit flow in your office or group through fun incentives, department challenges, or themed activities. After your drive is complete, we will tally up your generosity and provide you with a full report.

This year, the need for our community’s support is greater than ever. Milwaukee pantry traffic has increased by 20% following the end of pandemic-related benefits and rising costs of living. Families are faced with difficult choices between putting food on the table and keeping the heat on during the colder months. A strong 2023 Food For Families campaign is essential to ensure the safety and nourishment of kids, families, and seniors in our community.

This holiday season let’s come together once again to make a difference. Your involvement matters, and your generosity can bring joy and relief to those who need it most. Together, we can make this holiday season truly special for everyone in our community.

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.