Marathon food drive set

DANVILLE — Each month, Chuck Brooks sees 65 to 70 new families in line at the Danville Area Food Pantry.

It's troubling, he said, especially because many of the new faces are seniors and the newly unemployed.

"I thought that number would level off at some point, but it hasn't yet," said Brooks, the pantry's chairman.

Now he and other organizers are gearing up for the Frostbite Marathon to help restock the shelves.

The 15th annual food drive will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Dec. 7 at County Market-Towne Centre, 2 E. Main St., Danville.

Collection barrels also will be placed at two other County Market locations — Village Mall, 2917 N. Vermilion St., Danville, and Southgate Plaza, 1628 Georgetown Road, Tilton — on those days.

The stores will have needed items marked with red tags on the shelves. They also will have premade food bags filled with quick oats, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, tuna, corn, and chicken noodle and tomato soups available for $5.

"We hope to collect enough food that will last us about a month," Brooks said.

The food pantry, at 141 N. Walnut St., Danville, serves as an emergency food pantry for Vermilion County residents. It's open from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Last month, the pantry served more than 800 hungry families, Brooks said. "We'd been averaging between 600 and 800" a month, he said.

During last year's Frostbite Marathon, the community stuffed a Pepsi trailer, as well as several barrels, full of donations. That provided more than 300,000 meals, Brooks estimated.

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