Meet Laura Witkowski Our SNAP-ED Farmer Teaching Urban Students the Basics of Farming

Mar 29, 2024

Hunger Task Force offers a Farm-to-School program that gives nearly 30 students from Milwaukee Public Schools in third, fourth and fifth grade the opportunity to take bi-weekly field trips to the Hunger Task Force Farm during the growing season.

Born and raised on Milwaukee’s North Side, Laura knows firsthand how important it is for urban children to receive in-person nutrition education. In her second year as Hunger Task Force’s SNAP-Ed Farmer, she is passionate about teaching students how healthy food is made by planting, growing, harvesting and managing crops alongside them in the student garden.

“The Farm-to-School program is so impactful and one of the highlights of my career as a farmer,” says Laura Witkowski. “My favorite parts of the program are watching students beam with excitement as they participate in hands on instruction and taking students through our outdoor classroom, which is nearly 100 acres of Oak Savana on The Farm. The outdoor instruction brings out beautiful child wonderment and gives students an opportunity to ask questions about the world around them.”

Through the Farm-to-School program, students from Milwaukee Public Schools participate in an 8-week education session through which they visit the Hunger Task Force farm weekly. In the Spring, students will work alongside SNAP-Ed staff, including Farmer Laura, to plant vegetables. And the fall, they harvest them. In total, 28 raised garden beds are tended to.

As the SNAP-Ed Farmer, Laura not only guides students as they manage a garden, but she also helps students understand how healthy food is grown. Laura feels that children are wonders to behold, not problems to solve. This summer, she is excited to spend more time with students doing experiential learning.

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.