June 21--The Lincoln-Logan Food Pantry is celebrating 25 years of service to the community.
The food pantry opened in June of 1993 as a coalition of over 15 churches and small pantries joined together to offer one larger food pantry. During the first year of operation, the food pantry furnished food assistance to 1,884 families/households, an average of 157 families each month.
In 2017, the pantry served 5,910 families/households, 20,890 individuals and 7,508 children, for an average of 493 families each month.
The pantry's goal is to provide a modest quantity of food once each month to qualified needy families in Logan County. Similar to a small grocery store, families navigate the pantry with a grocery cart and, depending on family size, select a pre-determined number of items off the shelves at no cost to them.
The food pantry is part of a network of organizations dedicated to serving people who need assistance, including the Central Illinois Food Bank, the US Department of Agriculture, Feeding America and Logan County retailers and grocers (IGA, Kroger, Aldi, Walmart and Sysco).
Pantry Managers Rick Releford and Norm Newhouse said Thursday that roughly 70 volunteers make up their team of workers.
"I think it's a part of our Christian background, for all of us, we do it because helping people is something that we should all do," Releford said. "We believe in supporting the community."
In turn, support from the community keeps the pantry in operation.
The group accepts donations of non-perishable food items (before the "best buy date" printed on item), as well as volunteer labor and financial contributions. The average cost of food through the Food Bank is 20 cents per pound, so each dollar donated goes much further than it could in stores. New volunteers are always welcome to help maintain stocked shelves, sort food items, unload trucks and assist pantry customers during distribution hours.
Volunteer Liz Kingsley has been with the pantry since its inception. "I feel more of a demand now than when we started," she said. "There's much more of a need in our community now than in the beginning."
Those in need of food assistance may utilize the pantry, at 125 North Logan Street in Lincoln, from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and from 2-4 p.m. on Thursdays. Seniors and disabled people are also welcome at the pantry from 2-4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. Those who are unable to visit the pantry themselves may also obtain a proxy form to have a friend or relative collect food for them.
The food pantry is incorporated as a not for profit business with a board of directors that jointly oversee pantry activities. Donations made to the pantry are tax deductible and can be mailed to the Lincoln-Logan Food Pantry P.O. Box 773 Lincoln, Illinois or by calling (217) 732-6644.
(c)2018 Canton Daily Ledger, III.
Visit Canton Daily Ledger, III. at www.cantondailyledger.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News