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      Madonna House food pantry needs donations

      We've heard the pleas for more donations to local food pantries here in the Tri State area. And the Madonna House in Quincy is also asking for help.

      The twice a week food pantry is barely staying ahead of the need of those who come every week.

      Right now about 50 families who are in need of food to help feed their families come to the food pantry distribution every Tuesday and Saturday.

      To compare the numbers, just last month the Madonna House served 210 households. that compares to 183 households for the same time last year. Madonna House interim director Joanne Dedert says she is seeing a definite increase in the number of people who are needing help.

      "We're seeing a lot of first time families that have never been here before and when you see them, they're so humbled to get the food.And sometimes they're uncomfortable because they've never done this before," Dedert said.

      Unlike some other food pantries, there isn't a limit in the number of times per month someone can get assistance. But the people who show up, they get one sack of groceries and most of the time it includes just enough food to get a family by for a few days.

      "As we continue to hear and read in the newspapers, with this drought, it's only going to drive the prices up in the grocery store which means we're going to have a bigger demand which means we're just going to see a demand in the numbers," said Dedert said.

      Dedert said for the people who would like to donate, the pantry is in need of canned meat, fruits and vegetables. They can also use boxed pastry and even paper products. She says some churches have helped in the past, but that these bags that are ready to go can easily wipe out what they have on the shelves, so she hopes the donations can outlast what the demand is at this time.

      There are income guidelines as to who can get services from the Madonna House Food Pantry.

      The pantry is open on Tuesday's from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturday's from 10 a.m. until noon.

      You can contact the Madonna House by calling 217-224-7771 or or their website at