In tough economic times, more and more people are struggling to find where their next meal will come from.
Now the Hunger Task Force in La Crosse is moving to a new location to better cater to the growing need.
Boxes upon crates of donated food are making things a little crowded at the Hunger Task Force in La Crosse.
“We have been steadily growing for the last five years as far as donations and agencies that we're serving,” said Shelly Krause, executive director of the Hunger Task Force. “So we're collecting more food and we need a place to put it so that we can work efficiently and safely.”
The organization supports 60 food pantries and meal sites in the area.
In 2012, as the need for help grew, the organization saw a nearly 30 percent increase in donations, but Krause said it should have been more.
“We have great supporters that are able to give us more product, but can't right now because of the space constraints,” said Krause.
Now, after a couple of years of planning, the Hunger Task Force will soon move to a bigger location just a little more than a mile away.
The new facility is about three to four times bigger than the current facility. That means more room to sort food, more room to store food -- and it's finally a place the Hunger Task Force can call its own.
“There was a lot of confusion being in the same building,” said Nancy Fee, president of the board of directors for the Hunger Task Force. “WAFER (food pantry) is a great organization, but we are two very different programs. We have spent a great deal of time in the last few years trying to make our name better known, and not necessarily to separate us from them, but just to distinguish the differences.”
The two organizations have shared the same building for more than a decade.
While Krause says moving out won't be easy, it’s an opportunity to better help those in need.
“We've been here for a long time, we've grown here and we're just excited to be in a new location and continue to grow,” said Krause.
Everything needs to be moved out of the current building by the end of February.
After that, the empty space will once again belong to the WAFER Food Pantry next door.
The Hunger Task Force's new location on Clinton Street in La Crosse will be in operation on March 4.
The Hunger Task Force is always in need of food and monetary donations.
Organizers said they'll need a lot of help during the big move next week.
To help out contact the Hunger Task Force at (608)-793-1002 or at http://lacrossehtf.org/index.html.