SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and members of her Springfield staff volunteered Tuesday at the Central Illinois Food Bank and encouraged Illinois residents to fight hunger this holiday season.
“Whether it is one dollar, one can of food, or one hour of volunteering, our donations can help make sure no child goes hungry this holiday season,” said Simon, chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “We must all do our part to help children, seniors and families access nutritious food while our economy continues to recover.”
About 15 percent of Illinois’ population is “food insecure,” meaning they don’t have access to enough food to sustain a healthy, active life for all members of the household. A family might not be food insecure year-round, but could forgo other necessities in order to purchase food. Statewide, 22.2 percent of children are food insecure.
The Central Illinois Food Bank serves communities in Adams, Bond, Brown, Cass, Christian, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Jefferson, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott and Shelby counties. More than 105,000 people are served annually, about 37 percent of which are children under the age of 18.
“It’s wonderful to see our Lt. Governor getting involved here at the Food Bank,” said Pam Molitoris, Central Illinois Food Bank Executive Director. “Because hunger exists 365 days a year, we’re happy to shed some light on the work we do at the Food Bank with her and her staff.”
Simon and her staff members took a tour of the facility and then bagged apples that will be distributed to food pantries throughout central Illinois. Area residents can learn about volunteer opportunities at www.centralilfoodbank.org.
The visit to the Central Illinois Food Bank rounds out Simon’s day of service. She began the morning at Lee Elementary School singing with students and teaching them how to play the banjo.