Food pantry gives out 100K pounds of food in southern Illinois

PINCKNEYVILLE, IL — A huge food giveaway in southern Illinois is feeding hungry families. The local pantry gave away 100,000 pounds of food.

People braved the cold to pick up donations from the St. Louis Area Foodbank at the Least of the Brethren Food Pantry in Pinckneyville.

Drivers formed a line down the street with their trunks open and their vouchers ready to pick up their food. Lloyd Jackson said it was worth the wait.

“It’s a really good thing. It’s hard to make it nowadays if you’re retired,” Jackson said.

Items included fresh vegetables, chicken and much more. Least of the Brethren Ministry President George Culley in Pinckneyville said this is exactly what his community needs. “Since the Food Stamp cut back, 40 percent more of clientele customers are coming in. Thank God for St. Louis Area Foodbank,” he said.

The food arrived at a great time, because it means the families who received it won’t have to go back out in freezing and below-freezing temperatures.

“We want to fill up cars today, so people can have full bellies for the next couple of weeks, and not have to worry about facing the elements, and putting themselves at risk when it’s blistering cold outside,” said  St. Louis Area Foodbank President and CEO Meredith Knopp.

Jackson said they are giving out more than just food. They are giving out hope, and that’s the meaning of community. “That’s a really good thing — people helping people. That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” said Jackson.

The pantry gave out 200 vouchers ahead of Tuesday’s event.

If you’re in need and did not get a voucher for Tuesday, you can still pick up food on Friday at the Least of the Brethren Ministry in Pinckneyville if you live in southern Illinois. The pantry is at 407 South Douglas St.

The food pantry is also always accepting donations. If you are interested in giving, you can drop your donations off at the pantry.