Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
Sack Hunger: Herrin vs Benton
BENTON -- Our push to Sack Hunger! in Southern Illinois continues this Friday night in Benton.
Throughout the high school football season we're asking fans to bring a sack of food to a different game each week. Friday, when the Rangers host Herrin we'll be helping food banks in both of those communities. Rangers fans will give to the Benton West City Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry Depot. Herrin will see their donations benefit the House of Hope, a new food bank working to get up and running.
"If they fill that pantry, we could be open tomorrow," said Scott Cody, a member of the Herrin House of Hope Board of Directors.
Right now, the shelves in the pantry sit empty. Cody dreams of the day they're stocked with food, and the House of Hope is serving the community.
"The food pantry is a key part of our ongoing ministry," Cody explained, "Where people can come and get boxes of food that can sustain them, not just for one meal, but for a week or so."
The ministry is a collaboration between about a dozen Herrin Churches. They opened the kitchen earlier this month to start a daily hot lunch program and are now collecting donations for the food bank. The more food given on Friday, the sooner that goal can be realized.
"Right now we are operating on a shoe string budget of just what the volunteer bring in, so the great support from the Herrin community to provide food for that is really going to put us in a good place," Cody told News 3.
In Franklin County, hundreds of people rely on the Benton West City Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry Depot for help feeding their families.
"Last month alone we had 25 new families come into the pantry for assistance. These folks have never been to a pantry in our area that we know of," said pantry director Vickie Seagle.
Seagle makes it her mission to pack as much food as possible in the boxes she give out. It's a job that's getting more challenging. She served more than 800 people in August, a nearly 40 percent increase from this time last year, all with less help from USDA commodities.
"It is cut down drastically, due to the fact that so many pantries are in need," Seagle said.
The two groups share one mission--ensuring no one in their communities goes hungry.
"If that person came to us and we had nothing to give, how heart wrenching would that be," Seagle said, "To say to them, I'm sorry, you can't eat today."
"Enjoy the game and help out your community. We really desperately need that help," said Cody.
Whichever pantry collects the most food this Friday will also get a $500 donation from Black Diamond Harley Davidson. So please bring a sack of food with you to the game in Benton and help us Sack Hunger.
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