These volunteers love what they do

By Erica Quednau |

Published 05/13 2014 12:07PM

Updated 09/23 2014 01:50PM

CHAMPAIGN -- One in eight people in the state go hungry. That includes some people you might not expect. That's where Food for Seniors comes in. It's been around more than 20-years. It gives 400-bags of food to the golden generation every month. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau explains how that number could be growing.

You'll never meet a more positive group of people motivated to help. Many of them are dealing with their own hardships in life. Some are recovering from storms in Gifford, cadets from Lincoln's Challenge and others recovering from broken bones. But, they still show up and pack every bag with a smile.

Inside these boxes are what you'd usually buy at the store; hot dogs, cheese, baked beans. But something you can't find in your grocery bag; love, happiness.

"That's really what it's all about. We just love helping people."

Dallas Jackson and dozens of volunteers show up to the Grace Lutheran Church, in Champaign, every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. They unload, open and repack food for seniors.

"It's a wonderful opportunity. Wish we could serve more people than we do."

Well, Dallas, looks like your wish is coming true.

"I get so excited, so excuse me."

Robbie Edwards is the coordinator for the program. She's excited because, just a few weeks ago, she found out the Eastern Illinois Foodbank was getting $40,000 to help programs just like hers.

"I'm very grateful. Whoever I have to thank, I'm thanking them now, because it's brilliant. Rock on!"

The money will give more food to pantries focusing on feeding seniors. It will also help create new ones, letting Robbie and her volunteers focus on the good part.

"When we go and we deliver these bags to the seniors, make that personal connection, that just really brings it home."

"We get a lot of feedback saying, 'Thank you so much. I don't know what I would do without the food.' The looks on their faces, the gratitude, that they have for this is just, it pays for itself."

Robbie says they're always looking for volunteers, especially drivers. For more information, call her at (217) 359 - 6500.

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