Kaleigh Friend, public relations manager with the food bank, says the need has increased an average of 40 percent over the last three years.
“There are a lot of families who are still reeling from the economic situation that we're in right now," says Friend. "Maybe somebody has lost their job or somebody has gotten sick. There's a lot of people who have never had to go to the food pantry before who are doing this for the very first time. We put out more and more food every year, but we're never fully meeting that need."
Friend says this is the time of year that the food bank needs supplies the most.
"We're thinking about it during the holidays, we're thinking about it during the summer months when kids are out of school and not getting those school-provided meals," says Friend. "We have to be thinking about it all throughout the year. Especially right now because heating costs are probably very high and for some families that means they're making a choice: do I keep my heat on this month or do I buy groceries?"
The Central Illinois Foodbank serves pantries in 22 counties including West Central Illinois. The organization moves about 700,000 pounds of each month.
Friend says the food bank is excited about its upcoming move to the old Pepsi facility on the east side of Springfield. She says the building was donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank and is nearly three times the size of their current facility.