Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Sack Hunger: Harrisburg at Herrin
HERRIN -- There are just two games left in the high school football season, and we want to close it out with a bang.
We're asking fans to help us Sack Hunger Friday night in Herrin as the Tigers take on the Harrisburg Bulldogs. Our goal is to help pantries of all sizes across southern Illinois with food drives this football season, because they're all doing important work.
This week we're collecting donations for one of the largest food banks in the area and one of the smallest, Both are making a real difference in their communities.
"We are in desperate need for food for our community," said Amanda Pritchett with the Anna Bixby Women's Center.
In one day, the pantry in Harrisburg went from overflowing to nearly empty.
"This is an every week occurrence," Pritchett explained.
Meat is so hard to come by right now, they've unplugged the freezers. There's no reason to leave them on. And the food the pantry does get isn't always enough to make a nutritious meal.
"A quarter of the food truck last month was pretzels," Pritchett told News 3.
The Anna Bixby pantry helps more than 1,100 families a month from all across Saline County, along with domestic violence survivors from six other counties. Pritchett says the number of clients per month has climbed by more than 300 this year.
"This is the most difficult time we've ever had trying to keep the shelves stocked," she said, "And I don't know if it's the economy, but it's hard. "
Leaders at the Herrin Community Food Pantry have been helping their town for nearly three decades; they also see a lot of people struggling right now.
"With things that are happening with jobs and the job market here, it seems to be getting worse instead of better," remarked treasurer Lois Boyd.
The Herrin Community Pantry relies almost solely on donations from businesses and individuals. Proceeds from the attached thrift store help pay for the rest. Each church in Herrin takes a turn staffing the food bank, and they serve about 80 families a month. People are allowed three visits a year and get to select a certain number of items based on the size of their family.
"We just wanted to give them a choice," Boyd said.
On Friday night, you can help. A small gesture is all it takes to help Sack Hunger in these communities.
"It's so simple just to go to your cupboard and get a can of green beans or a can of corn," said Boyd.
"We will accept anything you have to offer," Pritchett said, "If it's one bag, if it's two bags, we don't care. We'll take it happily."
And as always, the group that collects the most food this Friday night will also receive a $500 donation from Black Diamond Harley Davidson. Come see our crew Friday night in Herrin, and help News 3 Sack Hunger.
Wind: 14 MPH
Humidity: 67 %