URBANA — Fighting hunger throughout East Central Illinois is a big job, but seven local groups have helped signicantly, Eastern Illinois Foodbank officials say.
The Urbana food bank, which serves 14 counties, handed out its first mission impact awards Thursday to the groups that have had a "significant impact" on its efforts to feed the hungry over the past three decades.
Spokeswoman Julie Melton said the organizations have given not only financially but through time and service.
Those honored include:
— Junior League of Champaign-Urbana, which started the Food for Families campaign.
— United Way of Champaign County, which provides grant and individual contribution funding to the food bank.
— Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, which has provided funding over the years, including $40,000 for a new senior feeding program to start next year.
— Volunteer foodmobile captains, who go out with drivers to help with Saturday foodmobile distributions.
— Two Men and a Truck, which provides boxes for community food drives and provides pick-ups for donations so the foodbank employees don't have to interrupt distributions.
— Altrusa International of Champaign-Urbana, a service organization of business and professional leaders that has provided a lot of volunteer service including office work and Food for Families deliveries and started the food bank at Centennial High School.
— Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, which conducted a study on the Backpack program and provided data on the effects of childhood hunger in the community.