Monday, Dec 9, 2013
Sack Hunger: Marion vs. Harrisburg
HARRISBURG -- This fall News 3 is asking for your help to Sack Hunger in our region.
We're hosting food drives every Friday night at a different high school football game, and this week our team will be in Harrisburg as the Bulldogs face-off against Marion.
This year we're helping two pantries every week, one each in the home and away communities. Harrisburg fans that bring a sack of food to the game will be giving to the Christian Community Food Bank, and the Marion crowd will donate to the Shepherd's Closet Food Pantry. Both are struggling to keep up with the growing need in their towns.
"When I started it was like 60. I might have filled like 60 to 70 bags every day that I was here," said Cissie Fosse, manager at the Shepherd's Closet Food Pantry.
That number has more than doubled in the last two years. Fosse now serves about 400 people in Williamson County each month. Earlier this year, Good Shepherd was forced to cut back from being open twice a week to only twice a month, because there wasn't enough food to go around.
"I know it's not just our food bank that is hurting," Fosse said, "I've heard a lot of food banks, a lot of food pantries have been hurting."
The problem extends down route 13 to Harrisburg.
"We had 79 new people coming in this month," said Don Nalley, director of the Christian Community Food Bank in Harrisburg.
Nalley spends nearly every day working to keep the pantry stocked.
"I used to get out there and hustle that food up," he explained, "You can't do it no more. It's not out there to hustle."
Nalley relies on donations from the public and money from local churches to fill in the gaps from the federal government's monthly shipments.
"The food's costing about $1,000 or more a week," he told News 3.
The Christian Community Food Bank helps feed more than 500 people each month, and Nalley said often times, it's just one of many stops for people trying to make ends meet right now.
"They're hitting this food pantry, they're hitting another food pantry," he said.
Both agencies are grateful for any help they can get and have some simple advice for football fans coming to Friday's game.
"Bring lots of canned goods!" said Fosse.
"One can will help somebody," said Nalley, "And it will help the food pantry to give it out."
The pantry that brings in the most donations Friday night will also receive $500 dollars from our partners, Black Diamond Harley Davidson. So whether you root for the Wildcats or the Bulldogs, please come out and help us Sack Hunger in Southern Illinois.
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