By Chris Degnan, Mission & Messaging Department 2013 Intern
With its mission to, “eliminate hunger by harvesting community resources and being the voice of the hungry,” The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse serves not only as a food bank, but acts as an important community resource providing food to over 60 meal sites, youth programs and food pantries throughout La Crosse, Vernon, and Monroe Counties.
An advocate of urban and community gardening, the Task Force is also a leader in recruiting garden volunteers to help out at the Kane Street Community Garden located on La Crosse’s north side. Established in 1998, the garden aims to provide low-income families lacking proper nutrition with access to healthy produce at no cost. In addition, educational opportunities are available on how to properly garden which, in return, gives individuals the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. According to the organization’s 2012 Annual Report, over 25,000 pounds of produce was grown at the north side garden with food being distributed to over 1,300 recipients and volunteers in the three-county region.
Additional ongoing projects occurring include a food recovery program that aims to prevent safe, wholesome food from going to waste as well as community food drives that help to both feed the hungry and also provide a volunteer experience for folks within the community. For 15 years, The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse has been a vital regional partner in giving back to communities by helping those most in need.
Organic Valley is committed to building a just and sustainable food system and is happy to support The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse in their effort to eliminate hunger in our local communities.
Chris Degnan is a senior studying in his final year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Interning with the Mission & Messaging Department at Organic Valley, Chris is excited to bring his passion for supporting the organic food industry and his energy in promoting sustainable practices to the organization. A lifelong Wisconsin resident, he’s seen the local organic industry grow and understands its positive impact on the local economy.