Volunteer of the Month: Cathie & Dennis Slater | February 2024

Feb 5, 2024

Each month Hunger Task Force is honored to recognize an individual or organization that goes above and beyond in their service to the organization.

Hunger Task Force relies on the help of more than 16,000 generous volunteers every year. From food sorting and building healthy food boxes for seniors to helping individuals shop the Mobile Market and harvesting at The Farm, volunteers help Hunger Task Force feed people today and support our work in ending future hunger.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we are thrilled to recognize Cathie and Dennis Slater as our February 2024 Volunteer(s) of the Month! This Milwaukee couple, married for 44 years, initially crossed paths while working in the service industry. Now retired, after decades of building careers and a family, they continue to dedicate their time to meaningful causes, focusing on supporting hungry families and aiding those in need. Their joint commitment to Hunger Task Force exemplifies the spirit of volunteering as a couple, showcasing a beautiful journey of love and service.

Q: How did you get involved?

Slaters: After Dennis’ retirement at the end of 2021, we began looking at volunteer opportunities. We have always admired the mission and good work done by the Hunger Task Force. Then our daughter, Lindsey, asked Dennis to join a volunteer day organized by Carroll University to build Stockboxes. Dennis enjoyed the experience and asked if he could volunteer regularly. Cathie joined Dennis and we were added to the Stockbox building team on Wednesday afternoons.

Q: What volunteer activities do you help with?

Slaters: We participate in Stockbox building most Wednesdays and have volunteered time sorting food donations and packing Badger Boxes in the past. Dennis has also volunteered for the WISN 12 Phone Bank at Thanksgiving.

Q: What’s your favorite part about volunteering together?

Slaters: One of our goals when we retired was to do things together. We both believe in Hunger Task Force’s mission to provide food with dignity, so it was a natural opportunity for us to volunteer together and do our small part to help end hunger. It’s a shared experience for us, and we have fun working together. 

Q: Why do you continue to volunteer time with Hunger Task Force?

Slaters: There are so many reasons! We support the Hunger Task Force mission and see firsthand the positive results to the community and its citizens. We also enjoy the positivity and energy of the Hunger Task Force employees, particularly Julia Prange and Faith Evans, who we work with directly. We also work with a fun and dedicated group of volunteers on Wednesday afternoons. We want to support groups we can actively participate in instead of just offering financial support.

Q: What’s been your most memorable experience volunteering as a couple?

Slaters: We think it was watching people over time figure out that we were a couple. We never really said anything, so after many weeks volunteers would smile and ask “Are you guys married?” It always made us laugh. 

Q: What would you tell someone considering volunteering at Hunger Task Force?

Slaters: Just take a look at the mission and history of success of Hunger Task Force, then find the activity that interests you. We are all blessed with good fortune in many ways, so take that step and pass it on by volunteering. We know you will get out of it more than you ever put in – we do!

For more information on how you can get involved, visit: www.HungerTaskForce.org/volunteer

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.