Cold weather affecting access to food

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) -- The cold weather is affecting how much some people have to eat. 
Even though it's the busiest time for shelters, it's one of the slowest for many soup kitchens. 
They say in weather like this, they only serve a fraction of what they usually do. 

Many people who eat there are low-income and usually walk or take the bus, so they have to choose between staying warm or going hungry. 

At the Danville Rescue Mission, the beds are full, but the cafeteria is pretty empty. The mission serves free meals every day of the week, but in this weather they serve less. 

"It's so cold we've only got sometimes five people there."

They usually have three to four times that, and sometimes more, but they say most of their regulars don't have cars and might not have clothes warm enough to walk in this weather. 

"It'd be nice if we could do like the meals on wheels with the lunch and drive to some people's houses and drop stuff off, but we don't have the funding."

But the cold has also been a road block for Meals on Wheels in Danville, too. CRIS Healthy Aging Center brings food to more than 300 seniors twice a week every week, except this week. 

"The persons that are volunteers for meals on wheels for the most part are senior citizens themselves." 

So in extreme cold, they don't deliver. Instead, their clients fall back on their emergency food packs.

"That has five shelf staple meals in it that have all the nutritional values that they receive every day."

Everyone has one. But CRIS still calls customers to check in so no one ever goes hungry. 

"If there's somebody out there that has a 4-wheel drive and would be a backup person for us and do our emergency delivers, we'd love to hear from them." 

Danville's CRIS delivers meals on wheels every Tuesday and Friday. If the weather isn't better by then, the CEO says the emergency food packs should last until next week. 

Meanwhile, meals on wheels is still running in the Champaign area. 


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