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WATCH NOW: Food Bank and Sharing Center recipients of new vehicles
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HUNGER RELIEF FOOD PARTNERS

WATCH NOW: Food Bank and Sharing Center recipients of new vehicles

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The Kenosha County Food Bank and The Sharing Center in Trevor were among 13 Hunger Relief Federation food partners to receive new vehicles Oct. 26, as part of a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The Kenosha County Food Bank is the recipient of a new $120,000 refrigerated truck that will be used to collect major food donations for local pantries, shelters and meal sites. The Sharing Center received a $40,000 refrigerated van that will replace a smaller, older one used by the shelter.

“This grant award couldn’t have come at a better time,” Sharon Pomaville, director of the Sharing Center, said in accepting the keys to the van during a ceremony in Milwaukee at which the vehicles were displayed with large bows on them.

During the past several months of the pandemic, need has continued to increase throughout Wisconsin. Since June alone, Hunger Task Force has distributed 1,790,463 more pounds of food than in the same period in 2019 — an increase of nearly 30%.

Additionally, the Hunger Relief Federation has received and distributed more than 2.5 million pounds of Wisconsin milk, cheese and dairy products to families statewide, as well as 9,195,280 pounds in combination boxes of produce, meat and dairy.

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Pomaville said the ability to secure these vehicles without using operational dollars allows the agencies to direct funds toward helping clients and to continue “investing donations squarely on homelessness and housing, or helping our participants secure living wage jobs.”

Hunger Task Force received $7.2 million in grants from DATCP to build Hunger Relief Federation members’ capacity and provide Wisconsin-based food products statewide to food pantries and emergency feeding organizations impacted by the COVID19 pandemic.

“We were fortunate for the foresight of the Hunger Task Force to take the lead and present a strong application,” Pomaville said.

The grants included a $2.2 million Food Security Network Grant to purchase coolers, freezers, trucks and other essential equipment, and $5 million to purchase food from local farmers and producers. The COVID-19 Food Security Network Grant is made possible through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Let’s be honest, the pandemic has been no fun for anyone,” said Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Hunger Task Force, adding the ceremony was held to offer “a moment of pure joy for these food pantries amidst months of hardship and struggle.”

Pomaville thanked the Hunger Task force on behalf of the Sharing Center and the county food bank for “their broad and impactful service to Wisconsin.”

“When they say, ‘Strength in numbers,’ the Hunger Task Force embodies that, and sets a high standard for those of us part of their team,” Pomaville said. “Capacity improvements are key to strengthening a program/agency, and for us, offers us greater ability to empower people to independence.”

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