SPRING VALLEY — The Hall Township Food Pantry has been named the 27th recipient of the Jim Coyle Memorial Award through the River Bend Foodbank in Moline. The award brings with it a 5,000-pound food credit, which has a wholesale value of $9,000.
On Tuesday, Hall Township Food Pantry Director Jan Martin said she was very pleased but shocked to learn that the Hall Township Food Pantry had been selected for the award because it’s a little food pantry, and the River Bend Foodbank services 251 agencies.
“Receiving this award affirms that we are indeed going in the right direction,” Martin said. “Most importantly, we receive 5,000 pounds of food. That means lots of groceries for our neighbors in need.”
Martin said it won’t be hard to spend that food credit money since the Hall Township Food Pantry usually spends $2,000 to $2,500 a month at River Bend. Approximately 60 percent of Hall’s food is from the River Bend Foodbank.
Started in 1996 by Project Success, the, Hall Township Food Pantry serves people in Arlington, Bureau, Cherry, Dalzell, DePue, Hollowayville, Ladd, Seatonville and Spring Valley. The food pantry serves an average of 300 families a month, which is about 1,000 individuals or one in 11 individuals in its nine-community region.
In making Monday’s award announcement, River Bend Foodbank Executive Director Tom Laughlin commended the Hall Township Food Pantry for its work and for being selected for this year’s Jim Coyle Memorial Award, which is named in memory of a founding board member of River Bend Foodbank.
“The Hall Township Food Pantry does an excellent job serving their community and helping struggling families get the food assistance they so badly need,” Laughlin said. “The pantry is a model in the way they partner with the food bank to maximize the amount of food they can provide those who rely upon them.”
On Tuesday, Martin said the Hall Township Food Pantry is all about helping out people. The food pantry’s biggest challenge is keeping the shelves stocked because poverty in the Spring Valley area is at an all-time high.
The pantry has seen an increase in the number of individuals coming to the food pantry, especially senior citizens. In the summer, they see an increase because children are home from school and their parents now have to feed them three meals a day.
“We are making a difference in people’s lives every day, and that’s a good thing to do,” Martin said.
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