Food affordability an ongoing issue in central Illinois

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CHAMPAIGN Ill. (WAND) - People all across Illinois continue to struggle with food affordability. 

"Fourteen percent of Illinois households struggle to afford enough food and 17.3 percent of Illinois children struggle with food insecurity," the Illinois Hunger Coalition says. 

Restoring Urban Ministries has been providing food for children and adults for more than 20 years. 

"We serve food about four days a week. They come in at about 10 a.m. to about 1 p.m. and we try to give them a nutritious bag of food that may take them for several days," said executive director Irvin Williams. 

Although they receive assistance from food banks like Eastern Illinois Food Bank, often times, they still find adults and children digging through the trash looking for food.  

Eastern Illinois Food Bank says people around central Illinois need a lot of help. 

"There are a lot of people who work. There's a misconception that people who receive food benefits don't work, but that's not true - it's under employment. They have a job but it just doesn't pay enough for them to pay rent, pay for food, pay for healthcare and childcare," said president and CEO Jim Hires.

Both organizations agreed and said the Farm Bill needs to strengthen all food assistance programs. If these programs do not receive assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), then providing food will be an even bigger issue than it is now. 

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