URBANA — The Eastern Illinois Foodbank hopes to raise enough money Tuesday to provide thousands of meals to feed the hungry.
The food bank is holding a drive-through collection set for 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at WCIA's back parking lot on Randolph Street across from the Champaign Public Library.
The goal is to raise $15,000 — enough to provide 90,000 meals in the food bank's 14-county service area — says food bank spokeswoman Julie Melton.
"People can drive up to create a circle, so you don't have to get out of your car," she said.
The drive-through is being held as part of Giving Tuesday, a national non-commercial movement that follows two big holiday shopping days — Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is intended to inspire Americans to reflect and give back to charities through financial donations and volunteering.
Between the tornado in Gifford and recent cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also called food stamps) the food bank anticipates there will be more need for food in area communities in the months ahead, Melton said.
The food bank will launch its annual holiday gift of meals campaign after Giving Tuesday, she said.
The holiday gift of meals campaign encourages the community to give the food bank money for meals in a loved one's name instead of giving that person a gift. The food bank will send the person being named in the gift an emailed card on Christmas morning, Melton said.
The University YMCA is also seeking donations from the community on Giving Tuesday.
The organization says it makes an impact through student service learning initiatives, tutoring at Champaign-Urbana schools, student-led environmental programs and global engagement in health and community immigration issues, and needs community help to carry on its work.
Giving Tuesday: http://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday
Donate to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank: http://www.eifoodbank.org
Donate to the University YMCA: http://www.universityymca.org/giving_tuesday.