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      Madonna House needs help stocking food pantry shelves

      The interim director of the Madonna House in Quincy said statistics show about a third of Adams County households are food insecure.

      That means the families need help but don't qualify for government food programs.

      "We are seeing people for the first time coming to our food pantry," Madonna House interim director Joanne Dedert said.

      That statistic is something of a concern for Dedert. She said their average number of people seeking assistance from their food pantry in July, August and September was over 500. She also said what they're starting to see now are people who were able to donate a few months ago and who are now on the other end of the equation and are asking for help.

      "These folks, it's even sometimes desperate. They're coming here for help. And when we see some of these folks coming in for the first time and they are teary eyed and almost embarrassed," Dedert said.

      Dedert also said her food pantry at the Madonna house, can use both food donations and monetary donations. She added with the money they receive they're able to shop at the Central Illinois Food Bank and other discount food locations.

      "As we get closer to that cold season we are definitely anticipating more folks coming in, which is why we're saying now you see how empty our shelves are that it's even going to be worse," Dedert said.

      Dedert also said it's the full spectrum of people seeking assistance. Everyone from young families with children to even adults who are near retirement and have seen a change in their employment. Dedert said their door is open to anyone who needs food to put on their table.

      There are some guidelines that must be followed in order to qualify for assistance from the Madonna House Food Pantry.

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