The scene isn't one of a typical grocery store. This setting plays
out every Tuesday and Thursday as the Logan County Food Pantry opens
its doors to help area residents who need a little help, or in this
case food, to feed their families in these trying times.
all-volunteer staff at the food pantry puts in many more hours than
just those when the pantry is open. There is food to collect, to buy
and stack on shelves, as well as helping more residents sign up for
the foodstuffs as economic times continue to spiral downward.
Norm Newhouse had the disheartening information readily
available. "This April we served 411 households and 1,311
individuals. Last year in the same month we helped 335 families.
Right now we are signing up two to four new people every time we are
open," he said.
The crisis in food pantry stock has put pressure on the local
pantry, but due to the generosity of local businesses, churches and
individuals as well as civic organizations, the Logan County Food
Pantry is in better shape than almost any other in the state.
"Fig" Newton, another volunteer at the pantry, explained that a
national drive by U.S. postal workers went extremely well in Logan
County. "They collected 3,375 pounds of food for the pantry," he
It is this community involvement that keeps the pantry stocked,
but there is always concern. "Things are tough right now. We used to
buy food at the food bank in Springfield, but they are having
shortages," Newhouse pointed out. "We get bread and pastries from
Kroger's, and the IGA is always helping us out."
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Newhouse didn't want to try to mention all the area churches that
assist with food collections and cash donations for fear he might
leave someone out. "There must be 20 churches that all help with
either food or money, and that really helps keep us going," he said.
When asked if there were specific foodstuffs that the pantry
could use more of, Newton stated, "We can always use more dry
cereals and fresh fruit." It is the always-changing imbalance in
food donations that make cash contributions an essential need of the
pantry. With the cash, volunteers can fill voids on their shelves to
meet the needs of the clients.
The pantry's open on Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and Thursdays
from 2 to 4 p.m. And anyone wishing to donate food or money can stop
by the pantry during those hours. For those interested in giving a
cash contribution, you can mail a check to the Logan County Food
Pantry at PO Box 773, Lincoln, IL 62656.
The food pantry that serves residents of Lincoln and Logan County
is an all-volunteer organization that continually needs community
support in order to maintain its ever-expanding mission of making
sure no one in the county goes hungry.
As Norm Newhouse, in a thankful tone, talked about how important
all the help has been, another food pantry volunteer, Perry Luckhart,
chimed in. "I wouldn't want to live anyplace else in the world," he
Perhaps as food pantries across the nation enter a crisis mode,
we can all give ourselves a pat on the back, but the job is
never-ending. The Logan County Food Pantry, like the families who
depend on it, is a continuing cause in this community, worthy of our
attention and support.
[By MIKE FAK]