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      Fill 'er up: WIU students "Stuff the Bus"

      More than 700 student volunteers spent Wednesday gathering donated food for the Stuff the Bus food drive on the WIU campus.

      More than 700 student volunteers spent Wednesday gathering donated food for the Stuff the Bus food drive on the WIU campus.

      Since 2006 this food drive has given the food pantries and other service organizations a much needed boost.

      Since 2006, Stuff the Bus at WIU has helped stock the shelves of food pantries and organizations in McDonough county at a time when the need is the greatest.

      Loaves and Fishes Etc . is one of the food pantries that benefit from Stuff the Bus.

      "About 450 to 500 families a month come to our pantry," Frank Covey with Loaves and Fishes Etc. said. "Just the day before yesterday we had 43 families come in in one day seeking food assistance."

      Throughout the day buses like the one on the WIU campus will be filled with all the collected food from the drive.

      "We generally collect about 15 thousand pounds of food and then several thousand dollars," event organizer Eva Galbraith said. "Last year we had 15 thousand pounds of food and 3 thousand dollars. I already heard this morning that an individual made a nice sized donation. So they are well on their way."

      A display in the lobby of one of the students halls is made up of between 800 and a thousand cans of food ... all donated for Stuff the Bus.

      For volunteers like Randy Duchow Stuff the Bus is a great chance to give back to the community.

      "It just makes me happy that I can help other people in need and not just myself," Duchow said. "It makes me happy that I can go out there and make a difference in the world. I think that's the most important thing about this whole thing is making a difference."

      With the help of the some of the food collected WIU's black student organization has increased the number of Thanksgiving food baskets it makes from 20 to more than 200 each year.

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