CHAMPAIGN — By the time the doors opened at noon, Rosie Slaughter had been standing outside in the cold, dodging the rain for more than an hour and a half.
Many more people were standing in line behind her — everybody waiting for a free bag of food at Tuesday's "Stuff it" Thanksgiving giveaway at the Glory Center in Champaign.
Slaughter, 42, of Champaign said the food she was picking up will feed her and three other people — her two children and her mother, and without this help, she didn't know what she would do.
"Things are hard," she added.
On Monday, it looked like there might not be enough food to give away, and an urgent request for more food donations was made through the media.
The community came through.
The Rev. C.D. Nesbitt, the lead pastor of the Glory Center, said lots of donors responded at the last minute for the food drive, the church's fifth annual Thanksgiving food giveaway, so there was more than enough to go around.
"People were so kind this year," he said.
Nesbitt said the Glory Center and other organizations involved look to feed 600 families this year.
The line started forming at 9:30 a.m., and it included people ranging from those who have fallen on hard times to those who have nothing, he said.
"It's a large spectrum of people we'll be serving this year," Nesbitt said.
On the tables inside were bags stuffed with assorted groceries, and down the line were tables full of extra food items.
People coming through the line were asked to take a bag and choose a couple of extra items they liked, and at the end of the line, they were given a turkey.
Volunteer Joyce Robinson of Champaign said she was helping for the first time, but she volunteers a lot elsewhere.
"It's just in my heart," she said. "I'm a server."
Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, who helped promote the food giveaway and came to work with the volunteers, said there are many organizations doing similar things right now to try and fill the needs in the community.
Other organizations and businesses involved in the food drive included the Champaign County NAACP, Meijer, Hot 105.5, PrimeSol and Family Video.