God's House of Hope pic

TVARA Paradise Chapter president Patricia Cobb, right, presents a check to God’s House of Hope Food Pantry president William Carter.

While God’s House of Hope, which serves as Island’s food pantry, has lost its monthly fundraiser due to COVID-19, Vice President Becky Curry said the McLean County community is stepping up and showing support with generous donations that have kept the pantry afloat during this difficult period.

The pantry typically has a monthly fish fry to help raise money for bills and maintenance, as well as buying certain items that are not usually donated. However, the fundraiser has been canceled for the last four months due to COVID-19.

Even still, Curry said God’s House of Hope is fortunate to have a supportive community to help it through these uncertain times.

“We have been fortunate because we have had some people that come every month to our fish frys have sent checks in like they’re buying a meal, like to the penny,” she said. “I just think that’s so cool of them and that the community is still supporting us.”

Curry said although the pantry has gone through a lot of maintenance recently, it seems as though donations come in right when they are needed.

“When a bill comes due, it seems like the money comes in from somewhere. God is providing for us,” she said. “Thank you to anything that has contributed to us in these difficult times.”

The pantry saw an increase in need from the community at the beginning of COVID-19 with a rise in unemployment, Curry said, with at least 100 more people in need of provisions in addition to the nearly 400 individuals or families already receiving boxes. The need, however, has begun to level off since the beginning of the pandemic and the pantry is back to giving out normal monthly provisions, she said.

Though the pantry has been fortunate with donations, Curry said they have had to stop purchasing extra necessities for those in need, such as laundry detergent and personal hygiene items, like deodorant, most of which cannot be purchased with food stamps either.

Curry said the pantry has been purchasing its own essential food items as well, such as bread, crackers, eggs and vegetables. She said ready-to-eat canned food like ravioli is also good to have on hand.

“We’ll take any kind of non-perishable canned product … like ravioli, something easy for parents to feed their kids or for seniors to open up and eat and just warm up in the microwave, that kind of stuff we can use too,” she said.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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