ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara has launched a campaign to raise $45,000 for local food pantries.

McNamara says there has been a huge increase in need over the last year, with demand at the Rock River Valley Pantry up 90%.

The elderly are the largest age group in need of assistance, the mayor’s office said Monday.

Donations to the Mayor’s Hunger Campaign are distributed among nine local pantries that together make up the Greater Rockford Pantry Coalition.

“People have all kinds of reasons they fall on some sort of hard times. Sometimes it’s just for a few months. But, when they need it, they need it then. And that’s why we’re here. And we’re here for the community if they need food, we need them to come. We want them to come and take advantage of that so we can help them,” said spokesperson Kevin Goodrich.

Donations can be made at