The Public Square

WILL - The Public Square - November 11, 2011

Donna Camp on Hunger and the Wesley Evening Food Pantry

Hello, My name is Donna Camp. I am the director of the Wesley Evening Food Pantry in Urbana. We are one of the few food pantries in Champaign County with regular evening hours.

The need in our community is great, and often invisible. Feeding America estimates at least 79,000 people in east central Illinois don't have enough to eat. A quarter of them are children. You probably know someone who needs help and don't even realize it. They are our neighbors, not strangers: the nursing assistant at the hospital; children in band with our children; the person waiting on you in your favorite store, the grandmother reading to her granddaughter at the library. City employees, university employees, people working two jobs with no health insurance or sick leave.

The Wesley Evening Food Pantry is open on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. On that one night a month we serve 800 to 1,500 people. Each family gets to shop for their own groceries, as if they were in a grocery store. If you need food, we are located at Green & Goodwin in Urbana. Anyone who gets here before 7:30pm receives groceries. We have never run out of food.

Whether you need food or want to help, or both, I encourage you to learn more about the issue of food insecurity in our community. One such learning opportunity will be next week when WILL-TV and radio feature the program Growing Hope Against Hunger: An Illinois Response at 8:00pm, Tuesday, November 15th. As one of the panelists on this program, I hope you will tune in to learn more. There will also be an hour-long online chat after the program at willconnect.org that you are welcome to join for live discussion.

To learn more about Wesley Evening Food Pantry, please visit us at www.wesleypantry.org. Thank you.

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