Woman's grassroots effort to stock food banks

By Erica Quednau | equednau@wcia.com

Published 11/04 2013 05:27PM

Updated 06/02 2015 01:43PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Food pantries may have to pick up the slack after government cutbacks. The federal government is cutting back on food stamps. It means the loss of 80,00 meal in Central Illinois alone. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau has more.

Food pantries are not sure they can help. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank provides a lot of that food. Luckily, one woman is ready to help people and food pantries in the area fill the need.

Soup, pasta, vegetables. All these things are probably in your pantry right now, but for thousands, they turn to these shelves to get them.

"I always say, if I could get the food, I would have gotten it."

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank helps about 100,000 people get dinner on the table. Soon, it could be more.

"We realized that our lines are probably going to get longer at food pantries, but we don't know the extent of that."

Those food pantries will see the effects of the cuts first.

"What we're most concerned about is how deep, how long the line is going to get."

In about a week or two, food orders will pour into the food bank.

"We're like deer in headlights. We know what's coming, we just don't know how big or how fast."

Dana Cohen isn't ready to see them fail.

"I just thought, you know what, this is an easy thing that any community member can do."

Friday, she started a food drive.

"It saddens me that the neediest families in our communities are the one that have to be hurt by something like this."

"We live by that kind of effort in the community."

But, now Dana needs your help. She's putting boxes throughout Champaign and Urbana hoping you'll fill them with food.

"It's so simple. Just grab a few items out of your pantry, and if everybody in this community did that, we'd be able to flood these food pantries with the food they need."

For more information, click here or to start your own food drive, click here.

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