“People are able to give what they can afford. That’s all you can really ask.”
Brooks said you never know who’s going to need help.
“Could be your next-door neighbor. Could be your brother,” he said.
Brooks said the pantry has experienced about a $10,000 dip in federal funding, which doesn’t count the year the pantry was skipped completely. Due to increased demand and decreases in stock, the pantry may change how often it gives out food to each family.
“We’re talking about going to every 90 days instead of every 60 days,” Brooks said. “We don’t want to, but it may become reality that we have to do that to stay open.”
A short way up the street, Carol Olson at the St. James Food Pantry echoes a similar uncertainty when it comes to supplying the needs of the community. But she also said “God provides.”
“It may be a week before, and you wonder, ‘Where are we going to get this food?’ And it shows up in all kinds of ways from different places.”
The pantry is housed in the St. James United Methodist Church; however, Olson said the pantry is really becoming a community effort. The pantry receives help from other churches, youth groups and high schools.
Much of St. James’ food comes from the Eastern Illinois Food Bank in Urbana and the Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington.
Access to the food banks allows St. James pantry to provide watermelon, grapes, tomatoes and other produce, among other things.
The St. James and the Danville Area food pantries also both work with County Market.
“The manager (of County Market) will call if he sees a special buy. With the price of food going up, it’s important to have them as a partner more than ever,” Brooks said.