ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Faith leaders and food pantry organizers came together at Katie’s Cup in Rockford on Tuesday to discuss hunger.
“Hunger has been around as long as people have been around,” said Kevin Goodrich, president of the Greater Rockford Pantry Coalition. “As long, probably, as Rockford has been around. There’s been some here.”
Goodrich led the conversation on factors that can cause food insecurity, touching on the cost of groceries and gas; minimum wage and the access to education.
“It’s important for us to talk about these things,” Goodrich said. “Not just so that we know, but that the community knows that the problem exists, and also for the people that have the problem to know that there’s a place for them to go and that it’s okay to need help and to ask for it.”
November and December are the busiest months for the nine local pantries that make up the coalition, but the holiday season is not the only time people experience food insecurity, and it takes more than just a single coalition to combat the issue.
“We need to do a better job of the community aspect of it. It’s it’s one thing to deliver food to people and give them things they need. It’s critically important,” continued Goodrich. “But the part beyond that, where we’re addressing their other needs, their emotional needs and their spiritual needs is it’s what makes it successful.”
To find out more about how you can help local residents with food insecurity and the food pantry coalition, visit the Greater Rockford Pantry Coalition’s website by clicking here.