Badger Box Program

Hunger Task Force launched a pilot food program called the Badger State Box, coordinating their deliveries to food banks, food pantries, and food distribution hubs across Wisconsin. This was made possible from ARPA funding granted by Governor Evers and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

The Badger Box Program supports Wisconsin two-fold: purchasing products from local food systems and producers to support local economy as well as providing high-quality, culturally relevant foods to low-income families throughout the state. 100% of the foods included in and with the box are produced or grown in Wisconsin with a strong emphasis on small and medium sized producers as its suppliers. Throughout 2022, Hunger Task Force purchased nearly $9.7 million worth of products from these farms and providers.

What’s in a Badger Box?

Products come from over 35 different Wisconsin farms and companies including Wisconsin Grass Fed Coop in Viroqua, Chieftain Wild Rice Company & Rice River Farms in Spooner, and Deutsch Family Farms in Osseo, among many others. Products have included:

    • High-quality appealing meats from WI Pork Producers, WI Grass Fed Beef, Wenzel’s Farm and Nueske’s
    • Artisan WI Cheddar, Pepper, and Colby Cheeses from Rolling Hills and Chalet Cheese Co-Op of Green County and Brunkow Cheese of Darlington
    • Healthy grains like Wild Rice, hearty Granolas from Olympia Granola of Milwaukee, and Toasted Cereals from La Campagne Bakery of Mequon
    • Dairy products like Butter, Cottage Cheese, and 2% Milk from Sassy Cow, Kemps and Westby and Nordic Creameries
    • Fresh Produce: fruits and vegetables from a variety of local farmers. Cabbage, apples, seedless watermelons, squash, corn, and more.

Getting Badger Boxes to Wisconsin Communities

Distribution has taken place through the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin (HRF), a federation of like-minded non-profit organizations and Tribal Nations from across Wisconsin who share the mutual purpose of food and fund development, shared capacity growth, and the shared mission of ending hunger in Wisconsin. Building on federal commodity program rules for distribution, these Badger Boxes are distributed once a month at either drive through distribution points or are stocked inside food pantries for client choice.

To support the HRF’s distributions, Hunger Task Force has helped supply $ 4.9 million worth of infrastructure, refrigeration, vehicles, and warehouse equipment and supplies across the state. These purchases used ARPA granted funding to increase capacity of the Hunger Relief Federation Partners and enhance their efforts in their communities. The upgrades proved transformative to pantries statewide.


By 2023, the program has achieved:

    • 17 active hub sites across Wisconsin (4 operated by Tribal Nations)
    • As of the fourth week of November, 111,201 Badger Boxes have been distributed
    • 144 truckloads coordinated and delivered
    • Badger Box availability in 61 of 72 counties (85% state coverage)
    • Badger Box availability in 10 of 11 federally recognized tribes

Local Seniors Look for Solutions After Badger Box Funding Ends

The Badger Box program – a pandemic-era resource – is ending, leaving thousands of people across Wisconsin looking for new solutions. The Badger Box program started during the pandemic to help Wisconsinites keep food on the table. Earlier this year, the Wisconsin legislature voted down a measure that would add Badger Box funding to the state budget.

Hunger Task Force Participates in White House “Communities in Action: Building a Better Wisconsin”

Hunger Task Force attended an exclusive conference at the White House: Communities in Action: Building a Better Wisconsin. The half-day conference invited select Wisconsin leaders to share real-life examples, data, and anecdotes of the local impact the Biden-Harris Administration has contributed to in their community and across Wisconsin.

A Uniquely Wisconsin Solution to Hunger

Chieftain Wild Rice and Rice River Farms was one of the original Badger Box partners when the program was launched in early 2022. A Badger Box is a box of Wisconsin-grown and produced foods sourced from small and medium-sized Wisconsin farmers and food producers, distributed monthly through distribution centers of the Hunger Relief Federation.

Badger Box Program Will Continue

Fighting hunger isn’t a seasonal issue, but this is the time of year that many people pay more attention to food insecurity in our communities. Sherrie Tussler, the Executive Director of Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee shares more about the urban farm they use to produce fresh foods, as well as an update on Badger Boxes, the partnership between Hunger Task Force and Wisconsin farmers that came about during the pandemic.

Hunger Task Force Badger Box Program receives $5 Million Investment from Gov. Evers and DATCP

Governor Evers, along with with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), announced today that Hunger Task Force will receive a $5 million investment to continue the work to eliminate food insecurity in rural communities, urban centers, Tribal Nations, and homes across Wisconsin.

Hunger Task Force Invited to Speak at White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Hunger Task Force’s executive director, Sherrie Tussler, will speak on a panel during the Biden-Harris Administration’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. and is part of the Administration’s National Strategy that identifies steps the government will take and catalyzes the public and private sectors to address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition, and health.

Hunger Task Force Welcomes USDA Deputy Under Secretary

Hunger Task Force hosted the United States Department of Agriculture’s Deputy Under Secretary Stacy Dean during her two-day visit to Milwaukee on September 12 and 13. During her visit, Deputy Under Secretary Dean toured key Hunger Task Force locations and got a first-hand look USDA-supported Hunger Task Force programs and participated in our senior Stockbox distribution.

Hunger Task Force launches “Badger Box” featuring Wisconsin-made foods

Hunger Task Force has been chosen to administer $15 million in federal grant funds to build a stronger, hunger-free Wisconsin. These funds will be used to create, fill and distribute a food box called the Badger Box containing dairy products, cheeses, meats, fruits and grains purchased from Wisconsin farmers and food producers. Over 18,000 Badger Boxes will be distributed monthly through December across the state of Wisconsin.