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      Birkey's hosts food drive at customer appreciation event

      Birkey's supports food pantries with special event.

      A Macomb business came up with a unique way to combine a 60 year customer appreciation celebration with a cause that affects hundreds of families in McDonough and the surrounding counties.

      Diane Erickson is the Agency Relations and Volunteer Coordinator for the River Bend Foodbank out of Davenport Iowa which serves a 22 county area including 17 counties in Illinois.

      She shared a shocking statistic with us.

      "One in five kids right now are really facing that food insecurity. Wondering where their next meal will come from," Erickson said.

      To help turn those numbers around, Birkey's Farm Store in Macomb turned it's 60th anniversary customer appreciation day into an opportunity to donate to food pantries and other service agencies in the area says Jenna Kuik who works in communications for Berkley's.

      "People understand that thier friends and neighbors are the people who could need their help and that they may be in that situation someday, too. It's really important to see a community come together in the way that they have to support the food banks," Kuik said.

      As customers enjoyed a free pancake and sausage breakfast, they also had the opportunity to donate $10 or more to the food banks and enter their name in a raffle to win this restored 1954 Farmall Super MTA tractor.

      To make the donations go farther, Birkey's decided to take cash donations instead canned items.

      "You can buy a can of beans for a dollar or you can give the food bank a dollar. And they can get, for every $1 they can get $10 worth of food," Kuik said.

      She says Birkey's willingness to support the fight against hunger will make a huge difference.

      "It brings awareness to the whole issue of hunger which can sometimes be a hidden issue," Diane Erickson said. "And it also gives people from farm communities like we're seeing today, exposure to it. And gives them an opportunity to make a difference in these children's lives."

      Your opportunity to donate is not over.

      Birkey's is taking donations until April 4th.

      You can come into the Macomb store or donate online by clicking this link .