Food is Free MKE

Food is Free MKE logo.Located at 56th & Townsend in Emma Toth and Samantha Jansen’s garage, this lil food pantry that could started with Emma giving her excess garden vegetables away to her neighbors. After learning how much food insecurity there is in her neighborhood and throughout the city of Milwaukee the project grew, as did the space. Emma and Sam spent their own money the first few months (including their stimulus checks!) to stock the pantry with food and toiletries, and now they can luckily rely on kind hearted neighbors to keep the shelves stocked with donations most days. It’s been less than a year, and Food is Free MKE is now a permanent structure with 2 fridges, a community microwave, and cabinets donated by Habitat for Humanity of Wisconsin. Without some of the barriers of traditional food pantries, all are welcome at Food is Free MKE to “take what you need, and give what you can” 24/7/365.

We called on Classy Girl Cupcakes customers and fans to bring donations to the bakery in exchange for FREE cupcakes, and boy did they ever! Over 31 days in January 2021, our faithful delivery driver Mary Kate loaded up her minivan with groceries and toiletries we collected for 12 trips to Food is Free! Customers also donated gift cards, cash, and some even donated their free cupcakes back to Food is Free. We sent treats along with every delivery, and also made birthday cake baking kits for the pantry. Our initial call to action Facebook post was shared over 450 times and reached over 60,000 people. Emma tells us, “We have been able to keep an insanely large number of people well-fed with your help. There are now other businesses taking a cue from you and hosting collections, but none are as devoted as you have been. I appreciate knowing that I can call you if we hit a rough patch. With all the love in my heart, thank you.”

You can continue to support this fantastic homegrown food pantry simply by showing up, day or night with your donations, no appointment needed. We encourage families and neighbors to come together and bring your children to help stock the shelves with donations, which is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of giving back in a way that’s fun and relatively Covid-safe. Ways to support:

  • Follow Food is Free MKE on Instagram or Facebook
  • Purchase something from the Food is Free MKE Amazon wishlist
  • Send an Instacart or Shipt delivery of groceries and toiletries to 5536 W Philip Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53216
  • Send a Venmo donation to @FIFMKE
  • Send a CashApp donation to $foodisfreemke
  • Show up! Food is Free is located in the alley at the intersection of N 56th St & W Townsend St, Milwaukee, WI
Food is Free MKE.
Food is Free MKE community fridge and freezer.
Food is Free MKE pantry counter.
Food is Free MKE toiletry shelves.
Justin, Kelly & Owen donating to Food is Free MKE.
Abdallah & Nida donating to Food is Free MKE.
Birthday cake baking kits.
Cupcakes on pantry shelves.
Full trunkload of donations.
Donations at Classy Girl Cupcakes.
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
Food is Free
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