Building Partnerships within the Community.
While food disparities are not a new or emerging issue within the community, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the difficulty of obtaining a number of food items overall. HEALTHIER TOGETHERs Chronic Disease Work Group, with leadership provided by members of the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension and St. Elizabeth's Hospital, has worked hard to fill the need for food in some local areas that may be hurting the most. In January, this Work Group established partnerships with organizations like the Interfaith Food Pantry and the Farmer's Market stores in Belleville. They have also partnered with the Education Work Group to expand the program to reach some of the District 118 schools that are within walking distance of the two Farmer's market stores. These schools currently include Franklin and Abe Lincoln Elementary. This collaboration is making sure that families in need are able to access fresh produce to feed their families three healthy meals a day. Through these partnerships, families can obtain a $10 voucher that can be redeemed at either of the Farmer's Market stores in Belleville in exchange for $10 worth of fresh produce.
Interfaith Food Pantry is working hard to keep our community fed.
While many places have needed to close their doors or run limited services, like online ordering or curbside pick up, Interfaith Food Pantry is still open and operating. During the COVID-19 crisis, they have even extended their services to reach Belleville, Swansea, and Fairview Heights residents. They assists families based on size, by providing them with one full week of food every 30 days. Their hours of operation are Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 1:00pm-3:00pm and Saturday from 9:00am-11:00am.
For more information on how you can utilize the Interfaith Food Pantries services, click HERE.
Looking to get involved? There are many ways to still work at helping the community during times like these. HEALTHIER TOGETHER is always looking for volunteers, partnerships, and resources to help improve our metro-east communities. ALL of the Work Groups, including our Chronic Disease and Education Work Groups mentioned here are volunteer driven. If you would like more information on how to get involved with the HEALTHIER TOGETHER movement, contact us at email@example.com. You can also find information on how to get involved with the Belleville Interfaith Food Pantry through their website.