Truckloads of service for MKE

Hunger+Task+Force+and+Marquette+University+are+working+together+to+bring+healthy+food+to+Milwaukee%27s+hungry+children.
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Truckloads of service for MKE

Hunger Task Force and Marquette University are working together to bring healthy food to Milwaukee's hungry children.

Hunger Task Force and Marquette University are working together to bring healthy food to Milwaukee's hungry children.

Photo by Photo by Maryam Tunio

Hunger Task Force and Marquette University are working together to bring healthy food to Milwaukee's hungry children.

Photo by Photo by Maryam Tunio

Photo by Photo by Maryam Tunio

Hunger Task Force and Marquette University are working together to bring healthy food to Milwaukee's hungry children.

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According to Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Milwaukee has a child poverty rate of 43 percent. With unfortunate statistics like these, Milwaukee currently ranks as the second-poorest city in the country. Sherrie Tussler, executive director at Hunger Task Force, said she hopes students remember this in advance of the upcoming Stuff the Truck food drive.

Throughout Homecoming week, students can donate food to barrels at Eckstein Hall, School of Dentistry building and Zilber Hall, as well as residence hall lobbies. The Stuff the Truck food drive will be held today in Westowne Square between 9:30 a.m. and 12p.m.

While Homecoming is catered to students and will host countless engaging activities, Marquette incorporated an element of service. With service being one of the four pillars of Marquette’s mission statement, many people involved in planning Homecoming think it fits in well with the other events.

All donated food will be given to Hunger Task Force, which supports local food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, free of charge to those in need. Outside of donating food, students can help in a multitude of ways by volunteering either as an individual or with a group at a Hunger Task Force location.

Whether it be sorting food in preparation of its delivery to shelters, or packaging food so it can be brought to senior citizens, Tussler said she encourages students to get involved. Students can also volunteer at the Hunger Task Force farm in Franklin, or ride along helping distribute food to families around Milwaukee.

In addition to beating last year’s weight, the goal for this drive is to keep donated food healthy and good for kids.

“Think about it real hard if you’re going to pick up that pack of ramen noodles, set it back down, and maybe pick up some granola bars, some peanut butter or some breakfast cereal, things that kids need,” Tussler said.

Austin Moutry, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, grew up in Milwaukee and said he was sad to admit that the high level of child poverty did not surprise him in the least.

“You see (poverty) on a daily basis,” Moutry said. “I remember this one time in the winter, seeing these kids that were living under the overpass, and it was super cold outside. But you see it everywhere, the city’s been in a bad place. I hope that people will come out and donate this year because every little bit can help.”

“I know that Marquette students leave campus to do a lot of work in the surrounding area so I know that they have seen and understand the poverty, but a lot of those people that are really in trouble are children, who through no fault of their own are hungry,” Tussler said. “And they really do deserve food that’s good for them.”

She hopes that students specifically can relate because of their age.

“All the students should be thinking about their little brother or sister at home,” Tussler said.

Tussler’s lasting message was a thank you to Marquette students themselves. She said that solving childhood hunger in Milwaukee will be a multi-step process, and that the Stuff the Truck food drive and future collaborations between Marquette and Hunger Task Force will be imperative in the fight to save Milwaukee’s youth.

Colin Eschweiler, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said that he hoped the food drive could begin to address one of Milwaukee’s largest problems.

“Being from the west coast, it was kind of a shock seeing the level of poverty here,” Eschweiler said. “I hope people spread the word. It’s a problem that we can’t solve all at once, but because kids are suffering so much, it’s one we need to try and put a dent in.”

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