WISN 12 Features the Importance of Volunteering at Hunger Task Force

Feb 1, 2024

Station Partners with Hunger Task Force on an Initiative Throughout 2024 to Fight Hunger in Southeastern Wisconsin

By: Diana Gutierrez, WISN 12 News

MILWAUKEE (WISN) — WISN 12 is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a promise of more service to the community. We’re expanding our commitment to the Hunger Task Force, and each month, we’ll focus on a need and a call to action.

In January, the spotlight is on volunteering. It’s the engine of the Hunger Task Force, and they say the time is now to join in their quest to keep Milwaukee’s most vulnerable people fed. “How lucky we are and able to feel good about what we’re doing today and also helping maybe somebody that’s not quite so fortunate,” said Michael Grzybowski, CEO of Pewaukee’s Century Fence.

Grzybowski and the Century Companies team helped sort donated food for the Hunger Task Force. “Pretty rewarding,” Grzybowski said. “So glad to be back. People looking forward to it.”

Grzybowski says his team has been volunteering here for about six years now and adds it’s important to value how your time can help those in need. “Kind of a time for the whole team to get together,” he said. “Just making a difference and enjoying the day too.” Volunteers can sign up for food sorting, or they can lend a hand to a senior by building a Stockbox.

“They’re very low income, they’re very dependent, and they need that food,” Hunger Task Force CEO Sherrie Tussler said.

Inside the Stockboxes you’ll see rice, beef stew, and vegetables. All shelf-stable, nutritious food. Tussler said nearly 10,000 boxes are delivered to seniors in our area, all thanks to the help of volunteers like Tara Geiter. “It’s hard to not think about the people that are going to benefit from these boxes when they’re put together,” Geiter said.

Geiter is Kohl’s director of community relations. She brought her team in to share their time and talent. “It calls to our philanthropic commitment supporting family, health and wellness,” she said.

U.S. government statistics show volunteering since 2019 has dropped in all demographic groups. Still, in Wisconsin, about 25% of residents formally volunteer giving more than 72 million hours of their time. The Hunger Task Force relies on more than 16,000 volunteers every year. “We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers,” said Matt King, associate director of the Hunger Task Force.

“They’re in every single fiber of everything that we do,” Tussler said.

“Food is such a foundational human need,” Geiter said. “It’s the preface for so many other success stories within the community.” The Hunger Task Force serves more than 50,000 people a month. They are always looking for more help, and they always need donations, but if money is tight, maybe you can share some time. There are easy ways to volunteer.

You can sign up as an individual or as a group and pick your interests, such as food sorting, volunteering at the warehouse, or making Stockboxes.

Source: Hunger Task Force: importance of volunteering (wisn.com)

Hunger Task Force is Milwaukee’s Free & Local food bank and Wisconsin’s anti-hunger leader. The organization’s core values are Dignity, Justice, Equity, Compassion and Stewardship. Hunger Task Force feeds people today by providing healthy and culturally appropriate food to hungry children, families and seniors in the community absolutely free of charge. Hunger Task Force also works to end future hunger by advocating for strong public policies and nutrition programs at the local, state and federal level.

About WISN 12 and Hearst Television WISN 12, the ABC station in Milwaukee, is owned by Hearst Television, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation. Hearst Television owns and operates 33 television and two radio stations serving 26 media markets across 39 states reaching over 22 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over more than 120 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, Estrella and more. The radio stations are leaders in Baltimore news/talk and rock music listenership. Its Hearst Media Production Group unit produces original programming across linear and streaming platforms for domestic and international distribution. Its Very Local app, free to download on household OTT devices and available across popular streaming services, offers 24/7 access to local news, weather and an array of local and regional programming. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry’s premier companies and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst.