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Thursday, June 7, 2012 07:56 am

30 YEARS OF RELIEF

Thirty years ago, on June 7, 1982, the Central Illinois Foodbank started its outreach with just one ton of apple cobbler in an empty warehouse. Today, the Springfield-based charity reaches 21 counties, distributing more than 8.5 million pounds of food to more than 100,000 people in 2011. Executive director Pam Molitoris says 1.5 million pounds of that food was fresh produce, a number she hopes to double in the coming years. “It’s really simple: there’s a need out there,” Molitoris says. “There are too many folks at risk of hunger. Our mission hasn’t changed. We’re here to get food to hungry people.” To celebrate their milestone anniversary, the Foodbank is holding an open house from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on June 21 at the Inn at 835, 835 S. Second St. The event is free and open to the public, and it will feature an awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Molitoris says the demand for food has risen greatly because of the recession, and their food volume has more than doubled from 4 million pounds in 2007. “We have really gone out there and tried to get every pound of food we possibly can,” she says. “We hate to think of anyone out there going without food.” In addition to adding more produce to their offerings, Molitoris hopes to obtain a larger warehouse with cold storage capabilities and add a program to teach young people how to cook, budget and eat healthier. For more information, visit the Foodbank’s website at www.centralilfoodbank.org.
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