4-H Clubs in northwestern Illinois collect food to fill local food pantries
More and more individuals and families are going hungry. That's why earlier this month, the clubs kicked off their new, 4-H Food Squad food drive.
Mitchell Walker is the SNAP Education Program Coordinator at the Illinois Extension office in Milan. He says over the last year, the number of people who can't afford to buy food has increased by about 35%. But at the same time, the number of donations has decreased by around 29%, creating a big discrepancy.
Cash donations are welcome along with food such as peanut butter, canned meats, beans, pasta, rice and cereal. People may donate canned fruits and vegetables, preferably in water or light syrup, not heavy syrup (no sugar added, see flyer above).
Many people also don't have enough money to buy toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent, and other essential items. Those donations are also welcome.
The 4-H Food Squad is accepting donations at any club in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark counties. Or drop them off at extension offices:
- Rock Island County 4-H, 321 W 2nd Ave. Milan, IL
- Henry and Stark Counties 4-H, 358 Front St. Galva, IL
- Mercer County 4-H, 910 13th St. Viola, IL
The community-wide food drive will continue through mid-December. Click HERE for more information.
Another goal of the drive is to tell people where to get food when they need it. See the maps below or scan the code to access an interactive map. Also, check HERE for tips about affordable food and a map where you can filter the results, selecting only what you want to see in a specific city or zip code:
- School & Summer Meal Sites
- Farmers Markets
- Food Pantries & Meal Sites
- Grocery Stores
- Senior Resources
- SNAP & WIC Offices