Submitted by Jim Van Peursem
Hunger is a real issue in McHenry County. The statistics tell a startling story about this growing problem.
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Participants in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in 2009 was 9,043. It increased in 2010 to 13,141, and then in 2011 to 16,677, an 84-percent increase in three years. In the county, 15,590 children (18.4 percent) are at risk of hunger, and 22,381 residents (7.3 percent) are living in poverty.
Churches in Northern McHenry County are once again linking arms and conducting a Community Food Drive this month in response to these needs.
"We want to feed the hungry, stock the shelves of food pantries which normally run low during this time of year, and demonstrate to our congregations and our communities the impact we can have as we work together," said Tim Beavis, pastor at The Orchard church in McHenry.
Last year, churches gathered nearly 7,200 pounds of food for local pantries. This year, church members will once again be gathering both nonperishable food items and collecting funds that food pantries can use to purchase meat, dairy and fresh produce.
"In partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, a $5 gift can be used to purchase the equivalent of 30 meals for a family of four," noted Jeff Pittman, McHenry Campus pastor at The Chapel.
The churches are asking the whole community to participate by bringing nonperishable food items (no glass please) from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28, to McHenry High School-West Campus, 4724 W. Crystal Lake Road in McHenry. All donations go to local food pantries.
Participating churches include: Meadowland Church in Johnsburg; Light House Church, Fellowship of Faith Lutheran Church, Maranatha Assembly of God, McHenry Evangelical Free Church, The Chapel, and The Orchard Church, all in McHenry; and Community of Faith Lutheran Church, Lifespring Community Church, and Spring Grove Bible Fellowship, all in Spring Grove.
To learn more, watch this two-minute video from participating church leaders, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhd5fJJ-TSA.
You can also email Jim Van Peursem at firstname.lastname@example.org.