SPRINGFIELD - There's still a lot of produce getting out to those in need despite the drought. Spokesperson Kaleigh Friend says the food bank has been working to get a lot more produce out to the communities it serves. Believe it or not, this summer has been great.
"Things that are really expensive at the grocery store, that's the fresh produce. It's really expensive but nutritious," said Friend. All together, the food bank has given out more than 1.5 million pounds of produce "We've got another garden here in Springfield that's done close to 5,000 pounds."
Even smaller community gardens like the plot at Bunn's corporate office have been a big help in reaching that number. Vice President of Marketing Desiree Logsdon couldn't be happier with her community outreach programs inaugural year partnering with the Central IL Foodbank.
"We've got about 14 types of vegetables, and year to date we've donated about 900 pounds of produce to the food bank," said Logsdon. "…of course with the drought we've had this year that's been an additional challenge."
Logsdon says employees have even volunteered during the night shift to water the garden, while following the rules and regulations set forth by CWLP and the City of Springfield.
Friend says, now more than ever, the food bank really depends on smaller contributions and the efforts of organized community gardens
"We're just so thankful for partners like Bunn and all the people around Springfield and everyone in our 21 counties who have taken the time to do something like this," said Friend.
Even though the prime growing season is coming to an end, gardens like these won't stop producing for a while.
"With the winter and fall coming up, just be sure to be a good steward of the produce you've worked so hard for, freeze it or give it away, just don't let it go to waste," said Friend.
For more information on how you can get involved with the Central Illinois Foodbank, including how to start a community garden partnership of your own. Follow the link below.