Kohl's donates $750K to Hunger Task Force; helping needy families

Kohl's announced on Wednesday, Feb. 8 a $750,000 donation to Hunger Task Force (HTF) to provide healthy food for families and children facing hunger.  

At the corner of 39th and Lisbon sits United Methodist Children's Services of Wisconsin (UMCS). It is within the Hunger Task Force's network of 68 food pantries. 

"I love shopping here," said Demarcus Barnes of Milwaukee.

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You can catch Barnes adding food to a shopping cart at least once a month.

"Milk, cereal, carrots. I have to eat vegetables because my mom be getting on my case," Barnes said.

UMCS is in its 60th year of service – and it's been in the Washington Park area for about 30 years.

Thanks to the Kohl's donation, the pantry can continue to be a resource for people in need. 

"The food that will provide will stock the 68 emergency food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters," said Jonathan Hansen, Hunger Task Force Development Director.

Jonathan Hansen, Hunger Task Force Development Director

Hunger Task Force officials say the Kohl's donation comes at a critical time because starting March 1, people who are part of Wisconsin's Food Share program will receive one monthly payment – instead of two. The extra payment started because of COVID – but it is now expiring.

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"Additional food share benefits really was vital for families to meet their food security needs, particularly at a time when we see rising costs at the grocery store and everywhere else," said Bill Schmitt, UMCS Executive Director.

Despite that, those who volunteer and work at the food pantry say serving the public is part of their mission.

"We will be here. We will do everything in our power to make sure that our shelves are continued to be stocked," Schmitt said.

That gives people like Barnes a sense of comfort and community.

Hunger Task Force services 75,000 people every month in southeast Wisconsin. The Kohl's donation will also provide kids free meals this summer through the Milwaukee Summer Meals program

If you would like to help Hunger Task Force, you can do one of the following: