BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Belvidere’s B-1 Food Pantry is asking the community to help them purchase a new food truck to keep operations running smoothly, as the number of people they’re serving has tripled during the pandemic.
“The thing did the job for as long as it could, finally died on us last week. We had to actually rent a U-Haul to go pick up our food to bring it in,” explained David Smith, the lead pastor at Belvidere First Assembly of God.
Pastor David Smith runs the B-1 Food Pantry with his wife, Kristen. They need a new truck to help them transport the thousands of pounds of food they give out on a weekly basis.
“This one holds 2,500 pounds, and we’re wanting to take 6,500 to 10,000 pounds a week. So for us, being able to put pallets side by side, not being able to worry about the weight requirements, being able to take the meat we need…that would be life changing,” explained Kristen Smith.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, B-1 served about 1,200 people in February. In June, nearly 3,600 people visited the pantry. Pastor Smith says a bigger, better truck could help keep up with the increased need.
“We were doing about sixty to eighty families a week before COVID. On a good week we’d run 100. Our high during COVID has been 323 families,” Pastor Smith said.
David and Kristen started a GoFundMe to raise money. They say the Belvidere community has repeatedly stepped up to help people in need during the pandemic and are hopeful that friends and neighbors will come through again.
“We have never had a need that the community didn’t meet. Where I didn’t know where to ask, or where to even begin, somehow the community would step up. Even right now, it’s our little five dollar donations or we’ll get a fifteen dollar check in the mail. Those make all the difference in the world for food pantries,” added Kristen.
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