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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

Hunger Task Force Farm Awarded Major Grant

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The Hunger Task Force has received a record-setting grant from the Harley Davidson Foundation to operate its Franklin farm.

The funding -- $2,475,000 over three years -- will allow the farm to increase its total food output and expand its current programs.

"It's hard to explain getting the biggest check you've ever gotten," said Hunger Task Force Executive Director Sherrie Tussler at a press event last week.  "This really is a beacon of hope for the future of this farm."

"We are so thankful," she added.

Harley Davidson President Matt Levatich presented Tussler with a ceremonial check at the event.

The farm, located in Franklin on 68th Street between Puetz and Ryan Roads, plans to grow and distribute 500,000 pounds of food this year -- that's up from around 350,000 last year, Tussler said.

In addition growing fresh food, Hunger Task Force also operates a fish hatchery on-site.  All 40,000 of the fish harvested annually are used to stock Milwaukee County Park's fishing lagoons at parks across the city, Tussler said. 

And during the summer, the farm invites low-income Milwaukee Public School students out to harvest their own food from raised planting beds. Staff teaches the students how use their harvest to cook healthy meals at its on-site kitchen classroom, Tussler said.

Hunger Task Force also uses the farm to operate a transitional work program.  Low-income Milwaukee residents have the chance to sharpen their job skills, and many of them eventually move on to careers with partner organizations, including Harley Davidson, Tussler said.

To learn more about the farm, visit its official website.  And click the podcast player above to hear reaction from Tussler.