SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- Central Illinois Foodbank receives a $500,000 contribution from an anonymous donor.

With this donation, the Foodbank will help address the growing need for food assistance that has been brought upon by COVID-19.

Pam Molitoris, Executive Director of the Central Illinois Foodbank, said, "The Foodbank is so honored to be the recipient of this incredibly generous gift that will provide much needed nourishment for our neighbors and hope for those who may not know what the future holds. The last several months have challenged many in our community as a result of job losses and reduced hours of work. Among those most greatly impacted are families in need of food assistance for the first time."

According to Molitoris, "since March 2020, the Foodbank has provided food through 85 drive-through distribution events in under-served urban and rural areas throughout the 21- county service area. Together with over 160 partners, we have increased our distribution by nearly 2 million pounds, a 25% increase since the same time frame last year."

The anonymous donor stated, "Thousands of individuals and families in Springfield and the surrounding area who have never before experienced hunger are now in a position of not knowing where their next meal will come from. We can't think of a better way to spend our money than helping feed our neighbors in need."

Before the pandemic, nearly 90,00 individuals throughout the Foodbank's 21-county service region were food insecure.

And recent projections estimate that over 120,000 individuals don't know where their next meal will come.

Currently, 1 in 7 individuals, and even more alarmingly, 1 in 4 children are experiencing hunger throughout central and southern Illinois.

"Central Illinois Foodbank has made incredible inroads in meeting the need for nutritious food," Molitoris said. "However, there is much work to be done as hunger continues to extend its reach."

"Even in what we consider to be good economic times, there is so much need that goes unmet. This incredibly generous gift from a donor, who seeks no recognition or personal gain, inspires us to reach for greater heights. Today, we have received a gift of hope that with the continued and growing support of the community, we will one day bring an end to hunger."

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