There are many misconceptions about what the food bank actually is. Some think it is merely another pantry serving the public, similar to a soup kitchen or shelter where individuals go to seek help. The fact is we are not a pantry or soup kitchen or shelter. We are the nonprofit that PROVIDES the food to the pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. We collect donated product and store it in our 62,000 square foot facility. Most pantries do not have the space to store a truckload of potatoes, cereal, eggs, etc.
As an affiliate of Feeding America, we receive truckloads of donated product. We receive the product, unload, inventory, place on availability lists to our member organizations in the three counties we service, and distribute the product according to the need and desire from each member organization.
With a cooler/freezer capacity of 4,000 square feet (able to hold 9 truckloads) we are able to accept larger donations than your local church pantry may be able to accommodate. Most local pantries have only a home-sized freezer and refrigerator. Without the food bank, these donations would most likely be turned down, thus giving the product to another region of the state.
Our ability to accept frozen and refrigerated products allows us to offer a better variety of nutritious foods to the pantries and soup kitchens in our service area.
Another big misconception is that the food bank is either government funded or funded through Feeding America. Neither is true. We have the burden of covering our own expenses without the financial support of any one source.
Unlike most pantries which operate through their local church, we do not have any single source of financial support. We rely on donations and various fund raising efforts during the year.
We were founded in 1981 by then director of Catholic Charities, Vince Chase, who had a vision of becoming a depository for the local food pantries and soup kitchens.
We have a three county service area with over 70 member charity programs. The three counties we serve are Champaign, Clark, & Logan.