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FOOD DRIVE (GOOD) FRIDAY: La Crosse area students hope to bring mass food donations at Valley View Mall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.



Student from six La Crosse area high schools are gearing up on Good Friday to continue to make a difference.

The Rotary International iFeed students have organized a Food Drive (Good) Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Valley View Mall parking lot for the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse.

These are the same students from Central, Logan, Onalaska, Aquinas and West Salem Interact Clubs that put together the iFeed event in the winter, where they pack 80,000 meals to be sent to the needy.

“The kids are so hyped up and they always look forward to that,” Hunger Task Force executive director Shelly Fortner said on La Crosse Talk PM last week. “And, once it’s over, they’re like, ‘We have to do more.’

“Obviously, we know that hunger goes throughout the year. It’s not just in November and through the holiday season. So, they said, ‘What can we do in the spring and summer months? When do you need food?'”

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

So, they took an amazing idea from the pandemic and brought it back.

“They wanted to do a Food Drive Friday and what better day to do it than on Good Friday,” Fortner said.

During the pandemic, the Hunger Task Force organized a seven-week drive-up food drive throughout La Crosse that saw nearly 70,000 pounds of food and $250,000 donated.

“I have to tell you, that was probably the most amazing community get together event and support that I’ve seen in a long time, and it was just truly fabulous,” Fortner said. “And the Interact kids want to see that happen on a one-day. And hopefully make this every year, because they want to do more than just once time a year, and I think that’s great and says a lot about our youth.”

Students and other volunteers will be on hand ready to take in drive-thru fashion whatever it is that can be donated. Those who donate can expect it to take only a minute or two to drop off the items. Things Fortner said they need most include canned meats, pasta and sauce, cereal and peanut butter.

The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse is the only food bank between Madison and Rochester. It distributes goods to over 120 meal sites, food pantries, youth and backpack programs in the region.

FILE – Volunteers help take donations during Food Drive Fridays in the Valley View Mall parking lot back in May of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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