Area non-profits forgotten in wake of storm

Published 11/26 2013 11:35AM

Updated 11/26 2013 11:44AM

CHAMPAIGN -- For the fist time in decades an area food pantry is having trouble helping people in need. Restoration Urban Ministries (RUM) ran out of food. It's losing funding because of Central Illinois' state of disaster. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley has more.

Most attention has been put on Gifford and Washington. Now, surrounding area non-profits are feeling the effects and are asking people not to forget.

From the outside, it looks like just a warehouse, but once you walk in the doors, you realize it's a lifeline.

"I stayed in a blur. My life was a blur. I wasn't going anywhere."

Not even a year ago, Christian Ford was homeless.

"I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Ended up here."

But, Restoration Urbana Ministries turned into his home and changed his life.

"People would say, 'you have such potential.' Here I'm realizing that."

But, the place which gave him so much hope has hit hard times. Freezers, normally full of meat, are empty. This pantry, which feeds 60 families a day, usually covered in canned goods, now bare with only condiments and air fresheners.

"We try to have a lot of things we know will make up a meal. First in 20 years."

And at the worst possible time with Thanksgiving right around the corner. Hundreds will be turned away.

"Usually we get about 150 people out here trying to get Thanksgiving bags. We're just letting people know we just don't have it to give out this year."

RUM has lost a big chunk of funding this year. A lot of donations it usually gets have been redirected to Gifford and Washington.

"We'll get through it, but the idea of not being able to hand out any food? That's what we do. So, we're not getting the chance to do what we do."

Now Ford hopes the community won't forget the warehouse on the corner, because, it's so much more.

"This place has given me a chance."

No food will be handed out the rest of this week. Organizers hope the community will donate and they'll be able to open the pantry by Monday. To help, drop off canned goods at Restoration Urbana Ministries off Bradley.

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