No better time to help local Eastern Illinois Foodbank

It may not be the season of giving or a national holiday, but now, more than ever, it’s important to give. Campus is showing its continued hospitality for those suffering in Haiti. But there is also a need in Champaign-Urbana, and there is so much one can do to help.

Last week, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank released their latest study on hunger. They found that the number of individuals served has increased 133 percent since the last study was released in 2006. The number of elderly clients also has increased from 864 to 8,048 during that time.

The increase in numbers clearly shows people the major need for help, and it’s been that way for a while. “We’ve been reporting substantial growth for a long time now,” Jim Hires, the foodbank’s executive director, said in the study.

But as Illinois continues to cut social services, more and more people find themselves in need of help from their community.

Obviously, these numbers are a staggering reminder of the dire economic times in which we live. While we may not be able to solve the problem, we can start by helping our fellow community members in Champaign-Urbana who are experiencing unprecedented need.

Of course, donating food is one of the easiest ways to give. Got a couple soup cans lying around your apartment or room? Donate them to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. The warehouse is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. What better way to cure the winter blues then to help someone in our own community?

But the Eastern Illinois Foodbank needs more than just non-perishable goods. You can also donate much-needed funds to these institutions. The foodbank’s Web site, EIFoodbank.org, provides a list of ways one can give to the organization. You can even donate in honor or in memory of a loved one.

So, what are we all waiting for?

Help the Eastern Illinois Foodbank combat these staggering numbers by donating anything you can.