Hunger Task Force commits $1 million to provide relief for dairy farmers, milk to food pantries

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Lauren Anderson, BizTimes


Hunger Task Force has committed up to $1 million to a new program aimed at providing relief to dairy farmers while supplying area food pantries with milk.

The Milwaukee-based hunger relief organization is supporting the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Program, which will pay farmers to supply milk to Kemps, which will begin processing thousands of milk at its Cedarburg facility this week. Hunger Task Force will distribute the milk to its partner food banks and pantries through the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin. 

The newly-launched program is a collaboration of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and HTF. The donation is funded with “substantial support” from local individual donors, HTF said. 

With the closing of restaurants and schools across the country, Wisconsin’s $45.6 billion dairy industry has been hard hit. About half of Wisconsin’s dairy production was previously destined for the food service industry.

“This is an important partnership for our dairy farmers who, through no fault of their own, are faced with incredible challenges to keep product moving through the system,” said Chad Vincent, chief executive officer of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.

HTF provides food to a network of emergency food pantries and homeless shelters, serving about 50,000 people each month, nearly 40% of whom are children. The organization expects a higher demand for its services, as more than 725,000 Wisconsinites have become unemployed due to the pandemic in the past two weeks.

“We’re proud to organize this new partnership with our friends at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection” said Hunger Task Force executive director Sherrie Tussler. “The Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Partnership is the current best solution to feed the hungry while supporting Wisconsin dairy farmers and producers in these difficult and uncertain times.”