Food bank expands new program

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CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Central Illinois Food Bank is expanding its new program outside of Springfield.

Now, Taylorville will have a much easier time donating food to its local pantries. All you will need is your phone.

The program has only been up and running since September. The concept is simple. It is like Uber, but for food donations.

Restaurants or grocery stores can send out a request for a donation pick up from an app. Then, a volunteer driver will come pick up the donation.

Now, they are expanding to Taylorville. The hope is that local food banks will get fresh food consistently. Since the program started in Springfield, they received over 100 donations. “It’s a really innovative program, and it provides a lot of new opportunities for volunteers as well,” said Ashley Earnest, Central Illinois Food Bank. “Sometimes you can’t do a full 2-hour shift at your local food pantry. But this is an opportunity that if you have 30 minutes in your day, you can go and make a delivery to your local food pantry, and help feed families that night.”

The Taylorville Food Pantry only offers non-perishables once per month, but fresh food is offered whenever the pantry is open.

The program is expected to launch in early February. That is when restaurants in Taylorville will be able to sign up for the app and volunteers can start looking for pick-up opportunities.

The Taylorville Food Pantry saw a major increase in people in need following the 2018 tornado. The month of the tornado, there were 100 more people than usual at the pantry. Every month since, there were 75 more people than the year before.

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