Kohl’s harvests produce for hunger relief

2018 Giving Guide

The apple harvest was plentiful on a recent sunny day at the Hunger Task Force Farm in Franklin, but there were plenty of hands ready to help, thanks to a longstanding partnership between the nonprofit hunger relief organization and Kohl’s Corp.

The Menomonee Falls-based retailer sent more than 500 volunteers over the course of three weeks to help out on the farm, which supplies fresh produce to area food pantries.

Whitney Mileham and Cam Hutchinson of Kohl’s volunteer on the Hunger Task Force Farm.

The farm, which sits on 208 acres of farmland, natural areas and educational gardens, annually produces up to 750,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re grown and harvested each year with the help of nearly 5,000 volunteers.

“A lot of hands are needed to help harvest the produce,” said Matt King, farm director for Hunger Task Force. “Kohl’s is here in force to help us with that. We literally would not be able to do this without volunteers.”

Kohl’s maintains an ongoing partnership with Hunger Task Force, including encouraging associates to volunteer at the organization through the company’s volunteer program, hosting annual food drives at the corporate office and holding food sorting events.

September is a time of year when volunteer labor is particularly important, as the fresh produce needs to be harvested efficiently and trucked to area pantries.

In addition to volunteering, Kohl’s has donated more than $5 million to Hunger Task Force since 2008.

Earlier this year, Kohl’s pledged a donation of $750,000 to support a new initiative from the Hunger Task Force called the MyPlate program. Influenced by the USDA MyPlate food model, the program raises awareness of incorporating all five food groups. The majority of the Kohl’s donation was used to purchase 700,000 pounds of food aimed at helping offset the cost of supplying the Hunger Task Force network with the foods needed to stock MyPlate-certified pantries.

“Giving back is at the heart of who we are as a company,” said Jen Johnson, vice president of corporate communications for Kohl’s. “Whether it’s supporting programs and services, hosting annual food drives at our corporate campus, or the nearly 9,000 hours our associates have spent volunteering for the organization, Kohl’s is committed to making a positive impact on our hometown through our continued work with Hunger Task Force.”

As a longtime partner, Kohl’s understands the need for food in the community and enables the organization to better fulfill its mission, King said.

“They understand the needs in our community and how to address them thoughtfully and strategically,” he said. “Having a long-term partner like that allows us to formulate a long-term strategy and make investments of resources in a more strategic way.”

In addition to helping serve the community, the opportunity to volunteer alongside co-workers outside the office is also valuable for Kohl’s associates, King said.

“It’s a unique opportunity for people from a primarily urban environment to engage in an agricultural setting and to have a service opportunity that benefits the whole community,” he said. “It’s a great team building opportunity. The teams from Kohl’s are able to work toward a common goal that’s outside of their normal business routine, to work outside and as a team, all while doing something positive and productive.”

The apple harvest was plentiful on a recent sunny day at the Hunger Task Force Farm in Franklin, but there were plenty of hands ready to help, thanks to a longstanding partnership between the nonprofit hunger relief organization and Kohl’s Corp.

The Menomonee Falls-based retailer sent more than 500 volunteers over the course of three weeks to help out on the farm, which supplies fresh produce to area food pantries.

Whitney Mileham and Cam Hutchinson of Kohl’s volunteer on the Hunger Task Force Farm.

The farm, which sits on 208 acres of farmland, natural areas and educational gardens, annually produces up to 750,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re grown and harvested each year with the help of nearly 5,000 volunteers.

“A lot of hands are needed to help harvest the produce,” said Matt King, farm director for Hunger Task Force. “Kohl’s is here in force to help us with that. We literally would not be able to do this without volunteers.”

Kohl’s maintains an ongoing partnership with Hunger Task Force, including encouraging associates to volunteer at the organization through the company’s volunteer program, hosting annual food drives at the corporate office and holding food sorting events.

September is a time of year when volunteer labor is particularly important, as the fresh produce needs to be harvested efficiently and trucked to area pantries.

In addition to volunteering, Kohl’s has donated more than $5 million to Hunger Task Force since 2008.

Earlier this year, Kohl’s pledged a donation of $750,000 to support a new initiative from the Hunger Task Force called the MyPlate program. Influenced by the USDA MyPlate food model, the program raises awareness of incorporating all five food groups. The majority of the Kohl’s donation was used to purchase 700,000 pounds of food aimed at helping offset the cost of supplying the Hunger Task Force network with the foods needed to stock MyPlate-certified pantries.

“Giving back is at the heart of who we are as a company,” said Jen Johnson, vice president of corporate communications for Kohl’s. “Whether it’s supporting programs and services, hosting annual food drives at our corporate campus, or the nearly 9,000 hours our associates have spent volunteering for the organization, Kohl’s is committed to making a positive impact on our hometown through our continued work with Hunger Task Force.”

As a longtime partner, Kohl’s understands the need for food in the community and enables the organization to better fulfill its mission, King said.

“They understand the needs in our community and how to address them thoughtfully and strategically,” he said. “Having a long-term partner like that allows us to formulate a long-term strategy and make investments of resources in a more strategic way.”

In addition to helping serve the community, the opportunity to volunteer alongside co-workers outside the office is also valuable for Kohl’s associates, King said.

“It’s a unique opportunity for people from a primarily urban environment to engage in an agricultural setting and to have a service opportunity that benefits the whole community,” he said. “It’s a great team building opportunity. The teams from Kohl’s are able to work toward a common goal that’s outside of their normal business routine, to work outside and as a team, all while doing something positive and productive.”

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