Du Quoin mobile market distributes more than 7,000 pounds of food

  • Daniel Wright, a volunteer from Du Quoin, loads milk into the back of one of the 100 or more cars that drove up Monday to the mobile market.

    Daniel Wright, a volunteer from Du Quoin, loads milk into the back of one of the 100 or more cars that drove up Monday to the mobile market. Renee Trappe photo

Updated 1/17/2020 9:01 AM

The line of cars stretched nearly out of the parking lot and onto Washington Street Monday, as people patiently waited for the basic food supplies being offered by the Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Center in their second "mobile market."

When it was their turn, people drove up to where cheerful volunteers waited to deliver a box of staples into their trunks or back seats, food that had been delivered at 7:45 a.m. by a truck from the St. Louis Food Bank. As they began to drive away, many people rolled down their windows.


"Thank you," they said, reaching out to grab a volunteer's hand to shake in gratitude.

"Thank you, Ashley," said those familiar with the food pantry that the Du Quoin WEEOC site offers twice a week, to Ashley Greer, community service coordinator for the site.

The Du Quoin site started the mobile market in December -- becoming the third way Du Quoin residnets who need food can access it. Clients can come to the food pantry once a month -- which is open 1-3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Seniors 60 and older and invited to come a second time each month for special "senior boxes" of food.

And now, the mobile markets will be held the second Mondays of each month.

"We serve everyone who is low-income," Greer said. "I want people to know we're here with the mobile market."

People driving through the line were ordinary families. "I see a lot of families," at the pantry, Greer said. "I see seniors and disabled, and people who are just having a hard time right now because maybe they've lost a job. I see single moms."

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Greer said the site also holds one or two Food Fairs a year. The first Food Fair of 2020 has not yet been scheduled.

She said while the Du Quoin site depends on the St. Louis Food Bank for supplies, the regular food pantry they run is dependent on local donors and local volunteers.

While Monday's event seemed to have plenty of hardworking volunteers, Greer said finding volunteers is one of the hardest parts of running food giveaways. The site is always looking for help, she said.

• If you can volunteer, call (618) 542-4656.

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