Sunday, Dec 8, 2013
Sack Hunger: The Final Count!
WSIL -- Once again this football season, News 3 worked to Sack Hunger with weekly food drives at area football games.
You answered the call in a big way, donating more than 30,000 food items to pantries in 13 communities. We wrapped up our Sack Hunger campaign Friday night with some extra help from our partners at Black Diamond Harley Davidson.
This fall we heard from food banks across our region. All admitted it is getting harder and harder to fill the bags and boxes they give out.
"This is the most difficult time we've ever had trying to keep the shelves stocked," said Amanda Pritchett at the Anna Bixby Women's Center in Harrisburg.
A big increase in patrons coupled with fewer donations and cuts in food from the federal government make it tough to meet the need.
"This probably has been the worst month that we have seen. I mean just absolutely not getting anything from the USDA," remarked Lauren Hand, food pantry coordinator at Crosswalk Community Action Agency in West Frankfort.
Our region stepped in to help. In the last nine weeks, Southern Illinois gave 31,172 food items to 18 local pantries.
We can't thank you enough for your generosity.
"Made us happy. Made me cry. You guys was there, and it was just beautiful. It was just a beautiful experience," said George Culley with the Least of the Brethren Food Pantry in Pinckneyville.
"On behalf of the ministry, you all are truly a blessing. A blessing to those in need whose prayers are being met on a daily basis," said John Steve with the Herrin House of Hope.
Friday night, Black Diamond Harley Davidson awarded $500 checks to the pantries that brought in the most donations at each week's Sack Hunger game. Target gave $100 of food and a $100 gift card to others. They're contributions that will help make an even bigger impact on hunger in Southern Illinois.
"This is really just a godsend to all the food pantries. We're all in this together," said Mike Heath of Good Samaritan Ministries in Carbondale.
The donations from Target were a surprise Friday; the pantries that did not win the money from Black Diamond were very excited to get that extra support.
Again, thank you so much to everyone who helped us Sack Hunger this fall!
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