One of the amazing facts about the Central Illinois Foodbank is the amount of volunteers that are committed to making it work! There are volunteers who work in the office doing data entry, volunteers who work in the warehouse organizing and picking food to be distributed and volunteers who actually drive to grocery stores to pick up food to bring to the Foodbank.
The food that is in the 21,000 square foot Central Illinois Foodbank warehouse comes from a variety of places and is distributed out to 21 counties in Illinois. Food is delivered to 150 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs for a total of over 8 million pounds of food annually. That’s a lot of food to feed a lot of hungry people. The food comes from three main sources; 1/3 is federal commodities, 1/3 is national donations (through Feeding America), and 1/3 is direct local and regional donations (from manufacturers, processors, distributors, and retailers)
Now, thanks to the Retail Program, grocery stores and restaurants that have food that they cannot sell (but is still good), they used to have to toss it in the dumpster. But now, thanks to the retail program that has been put in place at the Foodbank, that product is being given to people who are hungry. This is the first prepared and perishable food rescue program in Central Illinois. Every day Foodbank volunteers collect from local grocery stores, distributors, and manufacturers.
What can you do to help?
The possibilities are limitless. You can work by yourself, or organize a group to fight hunger. We’ve included a few ways that you can make a difference, but we’re always amazed at the innovative, creative ideas people bring to us each year.
- Host a Food Drive – Food drives are a fun and engaging group activity that may be easily conducted. A food drive is a perfect way to get your coworkers, friends, or organization to help fight hunger locally. Food drives provide the Foodbank with a variety of critically needed non-perishable food items. For a twist on the traditional food drive, you may collect non-food items such as: toiletries, soap, diapers, detergent, and other household items.
- Plant A Row – Gardeners make a difference in their community through Plant A Row. An apple from your tree, tomatoes from your garden, or anything in between may be donated. Plant A Row is an excellent source of produce for the Foodbank, and it allows us to distribute healthier food to the community. Central Illinois Foodbank will accept any fresh produce donations as long as they are not processed.
- Corporate Food Fight Challenge – The Corporate Food Fight Challenge is a year-long food & fund drive competition between local Springfield businesses. Participants select a month to conduct a food drive and compete to collect the most pounds of food per employee. Each month a business is collecting food for the Corporate Food Drive Challenge, representing that hunger is with us 365 days a year. The Corporate Food Fight Challenge is operated by the Young Springfield Professionals Network.
Central Illinois Foodbank accepts food and grocery donations at our warehouse. Bring your donation to our front office and we will supply you with a receipt for your generous gift. The Foodbank will accept donations from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. For large food drive donations, a Foodbank truck may be scheduled to pick up from your location.
Central Illinois Foodbank Office & Warehouse
2000 East Moffat Avenue
Springfield, IL 62702
To inquire about large food donations call Kristy Gilmore at 217-522-4022.
Central Illinois Foodbank is also a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, and is a United Way certified agency.