St. Croix Valley Food Bank

The St. Croix Valley Food Bank announced on Wednesday that it allocated up to $4.3 million in federal funding to construct a permanent facility in Hudson to serve the hunger needs of St. Croix, Pierce, Polk and Burnett counties.

The funding comes from the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill signed into law last week and allows the organization to finalize plans for the construction of a permanent facility to receive, store and distribute food for the four-county area in western Wisconsin.

“We know that hunger is here and hunger cannot wait,” said Ann Prifrel Searles, Executive Director, St. Croix Valley Food Bank. “A permanent facility will allow us to be more efficient in serving the high poverty, diverse and rural populations across the region. We are incredibly grateful for the support of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and her staff to work to ensure funding for a facility to serve the growing need for food in the St. Croix Valley.”

Prior to 2022, there was no Wisconsin-based food bank to serve the needs of the food pantries, food shelves, backpack programs, and other hunger relief programs in the St. Croix Valley. When a Minnesota-based food bank moved their operation even further away from the area, it became apparent that a locally-based food bank would be needed. According to research, the region needs more than 6 million pounds of food to meet the rising food insecurity of families in these four counties.

In the St. Croix Valley Food Bank’s first full fiscal year of operation, and working from a leased warehouse, the organization served more than 212,000 people, increased the number of hunger relief partner sites and programs from 14 to 55, and 4.2 million pounds of food was distributed – a 46% increase of food to those who struggle with hunger.

“This funding is a huge first step forward as we work together to end hunger in western Wisconsin,” Searles said.

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