MILWAUKEE -- Summerfest kicked off Wednesday, June 26, with guests donating food to people in need. In return, their kind act got them a free ticket to the Big Gig, all while helping local families.
Before the gates even opened, the lines started to form and donations started rolling in. Those who gave were greeted and thanked by FOX6 anchors and volunteers from Johnson Controls who -- once again -- helped the Hunger Task Force Stomp Out Hunger.
"Our people are just so concerned about the well-being of Milwaukee, and making sure that kids here today don't have to go to bed hungry, and so it's the caring nature of our people that keep us coming back," said Grady Crosby, vice president of public affairs for Johnson Controls.
"One in four children in the city of Milwaukee is experiencing daily hunger, and so we need to feed those kids through our food pantry network, our soup kitchens, and homeless shelters," said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force.
In 2018, 47,000 pounds of food was collected, and Wednesday's nice weather brought high hopes and a big turnout.
"We are probably going to break that record this year," said Tussler.
Over the past 12 years, 801,000 pounds of food have been donated, helping out 74 different food pantries across Milwaukee -- feeding more than 35,000 people each month, and it comes at a crucial time for the Hunger Task Force.
"Milwaukee is a super generous community, and we have been at Summerfest for nearly 30 years, letting people in for free," said Tussler. "Not only do you get to have fun, you get to do good by other people, and so it's a community-wide effort, and it's just a really sweet way to celebrate summer."
The Stomp Out Hunger resulted in the collection of 46,500+ pounds of food.
If you couldn't donate Wednesday, the Hunger Task Force asked you consider donating any time of year to help those in need.
CLICK HERE to learn more, or to make a monetary donation online.