Food giveaway at Metro East church comes as need for help grows


GRANITE CITY, Ill. – More than a thousand boxes of food will be given away during a drive-thru event at Restoration Church on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The church is located at 3375 Fehrling Rd. in Granite City. No registration is required. The boxes of food will contain fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The food will be given away on a first come, first served basis.

Food giveaways in the St. Louis area have been drawing long lines in recent months as the economic fallout from the coronavirus is being felt.

“We’ve seen an increase of people who are just desperate for food,” said Amy McElroy, the church’s office manager. “We are just glad that we can do just a small part in helping to give back.”

The boxes of food are coming from an out of state church. Church volunteers will carry the boxes out for anyone who drives through the parking lot Wednesday morning.

“If you have a neighbor who needs a box, we’ll give you one to take to them as well,” said executive pastor Bud Vickery.

The donation comes at a time when the need for help is growing.

“We have to restock our shelves daily,” said Melanie Lohman, executive director for Community Care Center in Granite City.

The pantry and soup kitchen is in need of financial donations to help the facility keep up with demand.

“We go through 100,000 pounds of food within a month,” Lohman said.

Clients can register for help in-person at the Granite City pantry located at 1818 Cleveland Boulevard. Community Care Center also delivers food to more than 100 senior citizens in the Granite City area each month.

One of the pantry’s volunteers knows first-hand what it’s like to be in need. Valerie Woodson lost her job when COVID kept her down for more than a month.

“It was a nightmare,” said Woodson. “I thought I was going to die.”

She credits the pantry for keeping her from going hungry. Woodson now relishes the opportunity to give back.

“I just enjoy helping in the food line at lunchtime,” she said. “I go back there and help pass out the lunches.”

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