By Todd A. Jensen —
On an unusually hot summer day in June 2016, 15 volunteers from Fox 25/48 assembled at the Kane Street Community Garden in La Crosse to celebrate the Nexstar Founder’s Day of Caring through volunteerism. The team weeded, built paths, laid down cardboard to prevent weeds, watered, and cleaned up the gardens.
In 2017—on a much cooler day—nearly 20 staffers from the station again spent the day at the garden taking care of all the tasks that needed to be done. That same year, we participated at Artspire in downtown La Crosse by helping control traffic in and out of the parking garages. The station’s participation netted a cash donation to The Hunger Task Force to help further their mission.
We’re proud to say that these events kicked off a tradition of partnering with The Hunger Task Force that continues through 2018 and beyond. What started as a sweltering day in the garden turned into hundreds of volunteer hours, donations and promotion for events throughout the year that support The Hunger Task Force and other excellent community projects.
“We so appreciate our partnership with Fox! With the investment and help of this generous community, we can work towards our goal to eliminate hunger. And we can do it together,” said Shelly Fortner, executive director of The Hunger Task Force.
About The Hunger Task Force
The Hunger Task Force is celebrating its 20th year! You can think of The Hunger Task Force as a hub for food collection and distribution. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization collects and offers surplus food to a network of local food pantries and meal programs such as WAFER, The Salvation Army, First Free Church, Come for Supper, Onalaska/Holmen Food Basket, New Horizons and others. The Hunger Task Force receives donations from approximately 480 donors and drives. In turn, it distributes this food to over 90 programs in La Crosse, Vernon, Trempealeau, Monroe, Houston and Winona counties.
The Hunger Task Force also operates the Kane Street Community Garden, where all are welcome to volunteer and/or partake in the fruits (or vegetables in this case!) of their labors. Founded in 1999, the garden now produces 30,000 pounds of fresh organically grown vegetables each year.
Our Community Involvement
Our community involvement doesn’t stop with just one agency. The station supports many community initiatives throughout the viewing area. You’ll see Fox 25/48 spreading the word about Celebrate Onalaska, hosting a booth at Youth Outdoor Fest, hitting the course for the Junior Achievement Golf Outing in Eau Claire, riding on our float during the Oktoberfest parades, and braving the cold to cover the Rotary Lights and drive food donations that ultimately go … to The Hunger Task Force!
How You Can Help
There are myriad ways you can help your community. First and foremost, you can volunteer. For example, you can visit www.lacrossehtf.org/volunteer to explore volunteer opportunities available with The Hunger Task Force. If you don’t have time in your busy schedule, you can also donate food, items and cash.