SOUTHERN ILLINOIS – In cooperation with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Illinois and Southern Illinois Healthcare, the Southern Illinois Food Pantry Network recently awarded equipment grants to several area food pantries.
The grants will provide for a refrigerator or freezer to increase perishable cold food storage. The expansion of the equipment will allow the pantries to offer fresh, healthy foods to their clients according to officials.
Some of the grant recipients include the Western Egyptian Sparta Food Pantry, Marion Ministerial Alliance, Cherry Street General Baptist Church Food Pantry in Carmi (KAHR-meye), Salem Lutheran Church Food Pantry, First United Methodist Food Pantry of Johnston City, Christian Outreach Program Emergency (COPE) of Massac (MAS-SAK) County, Murphysboro Youth and Recreation Center, Greater Galatia (guh-LAY-shuh) Food Pantry and Herrin House of Hope.
Officials notedmore than 45,000 southern Illinoisans struggle with food insecurity, and many rely on the nearly 95 food pantries in the lower 16 counties to meet their food needs. Most area food pantries do not have enough cold storage, limiting their selection to shelf-stable products.
The Southern Illinois Food Pantry Network works to reduce hunger and improve the health and wellbeing of communities through access to healthy and nutritious food, education, resources and advocacy. By allocating donations from partnering organizations, they help to transform the lives of residents that face food insecurity in southern Illinois communities. Learn more at https://www.hsidn.org/sifpn.