Barbarians Rugby look to stamp out hunger with new goal for July 1st food drive


Milwaukee, WI – The Milwaukee Barbarians Athletic Club today announced a new 200-pound goal for their annual food drive benefiting the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. The food drive doubles last year's goal of 100 pounds and will again be held at Veterans Park in conjunction with the Lakefront 7s Rugby Festival this Saturday, July 1st.

While this only the second year the Milwaukee rugby team has organized a food drive, the Barbarians have been organizing the rugby festival continuously since 1982.

“With the 35th anniversary of our event approaching, last year we decided it was high-time we gave something back to the local community,” said Lakefront 7s director Erik Schleicher. “With our ongoing commitment to running the festival every year, we expect food donations to increase dramatically.” 

The Hunger Task Force will accept most non-perishable items but some items are preferred such as:

  • fruits canned in their own juice
  • low-sodium canned vegetable
  • lean protein sources such as canned chicken, tuna, and beans
  • whole grain foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, and multigrain pasta
  • health snacks such as granola, nuts, and breakfast bars

The full list of preferred items can be found on the Hunger Task Force website at  http://bit.ly/fooddriveMKE2017.

Donated items can be dropped off at Veterans Park on Saturday, July 1st between 8AM and 6PM. Numerous Hunger Task Force collection boxes will be placed throughout the park. Admission to the park and the rugby festival is free, though Milwaukee County independently manages parking at the event ($5). 

A number of local businesses are also collecting items including Herzing University, CH Hansen, Rogers University Hospital, Sunny Slope Dental Care, Good City Brewery, and Chiropractic Company.

Athletico East Side is also participating and has set up a public collection box at 2615 N Downer Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211. 

About Milwaukee Barbarians

The Barbarians or 'Babas' is the premier club for rugby union in the state of Wisconsin and was formed in 2012 through a strategic partnership between two local teams. As a member of USA Rugby, the Milwaukee rugby teams compete at the highest level by fielding teams in the Midwest regional competition. The Barbarians began collecting donations for the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee in 2016 on the initiative of club alumnus Kurt Kinderfather.

In the summer the Barbarians play rugby 7s, the tournament-based seven-a-side variation of the sport. So far this summer have they won three the Championships at all three local tournaments they have competed in.

More information on the Milwaukee Barbarians can be found online at http://milwaukeerugby.org.

About the Lakefront 7s

The Lakefront 7s is the longest-running and largest summer rugby event in America. It typically attracts scores of teams and often exceeds 2000 athletes on the last Saturday in June.   

The Lakefront 7s began with a small event organized in the summer of 1982 by the Milwaukee West Side Harlequins Rugby Football Club under the direction of club and tournament founder “Papa” Joe Kloiber. The event was organized by the Kloiber family for decades and family members continue to play an important role in the event. On the 30th anniversary of the event in 2012, Papa Joe received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless efforts to promote rugby in Wisconsin.

In 2009, Victor Drover began administering the event. In 2012 he created the Milwaukee Rugby Sevens Association (MRSA) to manage the legal and financial aspects of the event, and the volunteer base shifted to the Milwaukee Barbarians Athletic Club. Victor continues to oversee the MRSA as Executive Director while the day-to-day operations are managed by Erik Schleicher (Tournament  Director) and Cathy Nirschl (Administrative Lead).

More information can be found online at https://lakefront7s.com.

About the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee

The Hunger Task Force is Milwaukee’s Free & Local food bank and Wisconsin’s leading anti-hunger organization. They were founded in 1974 by a group of parent advocates who were fighting for a school breakfast program in Milwaukee Public Schools. In the early 1980s, this group formed Milwaukee’s first food bank: Hunger Task Force.

Today, Hunger Task Force provides a safety net of emergency food to a network of local food pantries and meal programs. They are the only food bank in Milwaukee that does not charge for food, delivery or network membership. Staying true to their roots, they continue to advocate for social policies and strong nutrition programs that fight future hunger.

Their core values are justice, compassion, stewardship, and dignity whose goal and mission is to end hunger in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Ryan Duklas, Coach
Milwaukee Barbarians
Tel: (414) 916-5720
[email protected]