Hunger Task Force driver Choua and Community Hunger Solutions volunteer Larkin before unloading our first WI Dairy Recovery Program milk and cheese donation! This week has been a reminder that even when things have been turned upside-down, many things continue on as before.
Our first delivery of WI Dairy Recovery Program milk and cheese was coordinated through Hunger Task Force of La Crosse. Differences? Aside from the addition of the dairy delivery, I wasn't able to meet the truck so a volunteer did that and everyone wore masks. The same? The Thursday truck from Hunger Task Force La Crosse has been coming to the FEC for many years, taking one or more pallets of local produce and delivering excess dairy from local producers. While HTF serves many of the same pantries that CHS does, CHS serves many organizations that HTF is unable to reach and CHS is able to source local produce from farmers that aren't able to deliver to La Crosse. It's a reminder that Community Hunger Solutions exists as a unique player in the fight against hunger, connecting our very rural area with valuable partners outside of our area.
More of the same? Community Hunger Solutions continues to make connections in our community and plan for life during and after COVID-19. Steve Lawless, founder of the Merry Green Marvel, reached out with an interest in helping Community Hunger Solutions. We "met" over the phone rather than in person, but our conversation focused on how our two organizations can work together to build a lasting partnership that will strengthen our community well beyond the effects of our current crisis. Relationships like this are what CHS is built on and what allows CHS to have a meaningful and lasting impact to our local community members. I look forward to building this relationship and continuing to nurture others in an effort to strengthen our impact against hunger. To learn more about Merry Green Marvel, check out their website: https://www.merrygreenmarvel.org/
Finally, early spring is the time of year when CHS reaches out to our partners to check in on the past season and make plans for the upcoming season. The feedback that I'm getting from local pantries this year is of increased need due to COVID-19 and uncertainty about the future. Many pantries have increased their frequency of distribution to meet local need. We've responded by coordinating volunteers to, working solo, put together orders and distribute. This is possible because of our resource of volunteers who've been working with CHS for many years, who are familiar with our process and are comfortable working in the building without supervision. CHS will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure we're able to meet their changing needs just like we did during the flooding of 2018, before, and since.
If you're interested in getting involved, CHS isn't accepting new volunteers but we are able to accept donations. I also encourage you to support families of undocumented workers by donating to this Solidarity Fund for Wisconsin Undocumented Families. Undocumented workers are a vital part of our farming economy and, yet, are offered no protections during this health crisis. https://www.gofundme.com/f/solidarity-fund-wis-undocumented-families
Until next time, be well!