Congresswoman Gwen Moore Transforms Personal Experience with Hunger into Legislative Advocacy

Jun 1, 2024

50 Faces. 50 Stories. 50 Years of Fighting Hunger.

Hunger Task Force is proud to be Milwaukee’s only Free & Local food bank and Wisconsin’s anti-hunger leader. In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, Hunger Task Force is highlighting “50 Faces of Ending Hunger,” honoring the anti-hunger heroes who champion Free & Local and support our mission to end hunger.


Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s dedication to fighting hunger is deeply personal and rooted in her own experiences with poverty. Representing Wisconsin’s 4th District, Moore has consistently advocated for robust federal nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program and universal school meals. “It’s my love language,” declares Moore. “I want to make sure people have enough to eat.” Her legislative efforts reflect a commitment to ensuring no child or family goes hungry, driven by a profound understanding of what it’s like to live without sufficient food.

“It’s personal,” she says. “I remember, a while back, other members of Congress wanted to do a food stamps simulation to better understand the limitations of poverty and how families live on so little. I don’t need a demonstration to know how important this resource is. Been there, done that.” At just five years old, Moore faced a desperate situation where she found herself preparing food in the dark to feed her siblings and cousins after the electricity had been turned off.

Her struggles continued through her school years. “As I went through school, my mother received public assistance. Back in the day, we couldn’t get free or reduced-price lunch. It was considered a duplication of service. I went to school with no breakfast and no lunch. I’d go to other kids’ tables and they would share with me,” Moore recalls.Books

Moore’s efforts in Congress have been pivotal in supporting and expanding nutrition programs, which include initiatives to ensure that programs like WIC and SNAP receive the necessary funding. Recognizing the critical role of nutrition in overall health and well-being, Moore has been a staunch advocate for including fresh fruits and vegetables in the WIC food package for lactating mothers. “Nursing mothers need access to more fresh produce, not just the milk and cheese provided,” she emphasizes, linking this concern to her broader focus on infant mortality and health.

Her advocacy also focuses on universal school meals – a policy she champions alongside other progressive lawmakers. “Providing free school meals is a crucial investment in the health, education and well-being of America’s children,” Moore asserts. She highlights how universal school meals can improve academic performance, reduce absenteeism and decrease food insecurity. “Eating is fundamental to a quality education. You need to have the energy to learn.”

Despite these efforts, Moore acknowledges the ongoing battle to protect these vital programs. “It’s not just a number in the budget that we can play with,” asserts Moore. “This is critical work that has a real and immediate effect on people’s lives.” Moore remains vigilant against potential cuts, especially those proposed in the farm bill that threaten to undermine the progress made in fighting hunger​.

Congresswoman Moore’s vision is clear: a future where no child or family experiences hunger. Her tireless work and personal dedication make her a powerful voice for the most vulnerable, ensuring that food security remains a central issue in the fight for a more equitable society, both here in Milwaukee and across America.

Meet the 50 Faces of Ending Hunger!

Click below to discover real people making a difference in the fight against hunger – new faces added each month! As we journey through our 50th year, keep checking back to meet more incredible individuals making a difference.