Mackinaw food pantry struggles as demand increases

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 9:59 PM CDT
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MACKINAW (Heart of Illinois ABC) - With the rising cost of goods, food pantry’s have become more essential for some people. In the Village of Mackinaw, many rely on one of the only pantries there.

“With the price of everything going up, gas prices, electricity bills, everything, we were feeling the hurt a little bit,” said Mackinaw resident Jennifer Swope.

Swope has two children at home. She now relies on the Mackinaw Community Food Pantry. She’s already changed her day-to-day life to make sure there’s food on the table.

“Maybe eating a little less because you want to make sure the kids have some,” said Swope.

Although, the pantry is also struggling.

“Usually, that back room is full, stocked full and here we’re pretty full, but right now we’re kind of empty,” said Tammy Bishop, president of the Mackinaw Community Food Pantry.

In a village of about 2,000 people, the pantry is one of the two resources in Mackinaw.

“We’ve had to be more proactive about getting people, ‘Hey can you donate, hey gift cards, money,’” said Bishop.

Bishop runs the pantry and worries how she’ll be able to provide for her neighbors.

“It’s been stressful because I live and work here. It’s a small town and we see everyday what people need and what people have and what they don’t have,” said Bishop.

If receiving fewer donations continues, Bishop says she’ll turn to other foodbanks for help.

“It’s getting worse and I think it will continue to worsen, before it get’s better,” said Bishop.

Swope is confident community members will step-up to help each other.

“It’s scary, but we don’t want our kids to notice,” said Swope.

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