Hunger Relief Federation

The Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin is a statewide association of independent food banks and food pantries, formed for the express purpose of mutual benefit in matters related to funding, resource sharing, and public policy organizing. Hunger Task Force is the founding member of the Hunger Relief Federation, bringing together free and local partners from across the state. The Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin aims to connect anti-hunger advocate partners throughout the state to engage and expand the Free, Local, Independent model.

Each local member of the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin works to serve the specific needs in their community and has developed a comprehensive plan to combat hunger in their region. Together, federation members agree to maintain a healthy, robust network of free and local food banks and pantries focused on collaboration, building capacity, sharing resources, supporting local communities and food systems, and advocating for policies to end future hunger in the state of Wisconsin.

HRF Member Benefits:

  • Peer-to-Peer Network
  • Capacity building and technical resources
  • Anti-hunger policy updates
  • Training opportunities for volunteers, staff, and community
  • Food and fundraising network
  • Advocacy and outreach resources
  • Venues to communicate with policymakers
  • Leadership in strategy and message development
  • Identification and facilitation of sharing information, resources, and best practices
  • Training in best practices for handling food safely, determining need, providing qualified assistance, and preventing future hunger
  • Optional participation in the Hunger Relief Fund workplace giving campaign

HRF Member Expectations:

  • Serve the specific needs of your community
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to combat hunger in your region
  • Food is provided free of charge – do not charge clients or other organizations a membership or delivery fee
  • Food is not to be exchanged or bartered – do not require service clientele participation in a program of social work, employment or worship in exchange for food
  • Uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct
  • Comply with Federal and State Civil Rights compliance requirements
  • Provide the highest levels of service in all areas to address short and long-term solutions to hunger
  • Institute and maintain consistent operational practices of accountability for equitable distribution of food resources
  • Improve food security by referring service clients to existing community services
  • Support Federal supplemental food programs critical in stabilizing households with persistent food needs

Hunger Relief Fund

The Hunger Relief Fund of Wisconsin was created to raise awareness of hunger-related issues in Wisconsin. The Hunger Relief Fund offers a workplace giving campaign to solicit funding from public sector campaigns. Municipal, County, State and Federal employees can designate annual workplace gifts to any member organization of the federation, or the federation as a whole. Hunger Relief Fund members that are not members of another workplace giving federation are able to receive 100% of gifts designated to them through the Hunger Relief Fund. No money is used for administrative costs—Hunger Task Force is the administrative agent and donates all administrative costs.

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 the 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.

Getting Badger Boxes to Wisconsin Communities

Distribution has taken place through the Hunger Relief Federation of 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.


Brandon Savage

Hunger Relief Federation Manager

Mark Lisowski

Hunger Relief Federation Organizer

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 Unveils Van for Ho-Chunk Nation Health Department

Hunger Task Force unveiled a newly wrapped refrigerated van to members of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Made possible by a generous donation, the van will be used to support the Tribal Health Department’s Food Sovereignty Program, which teaches tribal members about traditional food sources, preparation and using food as medicine for wellness.

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.

Hunger Next Door photo exhibit continues tour through Wisconsin communities

Hunger Next Door is a Hunger Task Force photo project that illustrates the reality of hunger in our community. While the project debuted back in 2014, the photo exhibit has been steadily in rotation for the last seven years and has been seen by countless community members, students, civic leaders, legislators and anti-hunger partners along the way.

We look forward to hearing from you.