When donating, money goes further than purchased items - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

When donating, money goes further than purchased items

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WSIL -- If you often donate food to your nearby pantry during the holidays, you may want to consider money instead of canned goods.

At the Marion Ministerial Alliance, cans line the shelves. Some donated by individuals, others purchased in bulk by the pantry.

"We have a definitive need for both items," said JR Russell, Marion Ministerial Alliance director. "We certainly do. If somebody makes a cash donation, we have the potential to purchase and make that go further than an actual can good donation."

Using its not-for-profit status along with deals worked out with vendors, food pantries can get a a rock-bottom price on bulk items the casual grocery shopper can't.

"The food pantry needs food. Well, now I've got to make an extra stop, plan for an extra stop at the store, and then work in a time to deliver it. Maybe it's just easier to write them a check," explained Russell.

Russell doesn't want to discourage any donations, whether can goods or monetary. His pantry served 1100 different individuals just last month, and the need remains constant.

"Items we always seem to run short on are things like boxed dinners. Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper," said Russell. "Things like that that will stretch beyond a single meal."

As far as can goods? Canned soups are an item that's often in high demand.

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