Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Sack Hunger: Carbondale at Mt. Vernon
MT. VERNON -- This Friday night two of our largest local communities go head-to-head on the football field, and News 3 will be on the sidelines working to Sack Hunger in both of those cities.
We're headed to Mt. Vernon for the Rams' game against Carbondale. The Victory Dream Center in Carbondale and Park Avenue Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon each feed more than a thousand families a month. That's nearly 7,000 people total, and it requires a lot of food.
Pastor Doug Cherry calls the food pantry at Victory Dream Center in Carbondale one of his church's most important ministries. He aims to feed the body and the soul.
"People walk out of here, not just with a bag of food, but they walk out with a touch in their heart and know that somebody cares enough to make a difference in their lives," said Cherry.
In the last three year, the Victory Dream Center Pantry has given out more than a million pounds of food.
"It goes out just as fast as it comes in," Cherry remarked.
More than 800 people now come each week, from young to old and families and college students.
"The people who today are coming to receive from our food pantry might next month be volunteering at our food pantry," Cherry said.
The Park Avenue Baptist Church Food Pantry in Mt. Vernon sees the same kind of big numbers. It attracts patrons from Jefferson County and beyond, about 1,100 families every month.
"Until I started working in the food pantry, I didn't realize how many people really needed the food," said Assistant Director Carol Hogue.
Hogue sees more new faces all the time and recently noticed a troubling trend of more homeless people in Mt. Vernon. Park Avenue is open three days a week, and people can come as often as they need.
"A lot of them come in and say, 'You know, I only come if I just absolutely have to. But I didn't have any other way to make it this month,'" explained Hogue.
You can help--something as small as bringing a sack of food to the game on Friday will make a difference.
"There's a big need out there for food, and anything that they give will be given out to the people who need it," Hogue said.
"Take part, step out, do what you can, small or large," Cherry told News 3.
The pantry that collects the most food Friday night will also get a $500 donation from Black Diamond Harley Davidson, so please come out and help us Sack Hunger in Southern Illinois.
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