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Choosing between paying bills and buying food

MARION (WSIL) — 80 meals a day at the soup kitchen, five days a week. That’s how many people make their way through the soup kitchen line for a free meal.

"It’s those that maybe had a high bill for electricity, they ask ‘Do I keep my electric on or do I pay the water bill or do I buy food," said Marion Ministerial Alliance Executive Director JR Russell.

Russel says those questions rise each month for hundreds in his community. The organization offers options, a hot meal five days a week and the pantry so folks can take home food for later. 

"We typically will see 300 different families every month through our food pantry, but what amazes me is, always 40 to 50 of those are brand new," said Russell.

Russell says his shelves are empty more often than they are full. They try to offer variety, but right now Russel says they’re giving out a lot of rice and beans.

He says this problem touches all of us one way or another, "If you’re not a person that’s using our services, you know someone using our services whether you know it or not." 

Russel is asking you to help us Sack Hunger at the Marion Kroger Thursday, October 10th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., "There’s no small or large donation. There’s no small or large participation. Be a part of it. Just be a part of it and collectively it makes a tremendous impact on the lives of the people in our community."

This week, your donations will help three pantries: the Marion Ministerial Alliance, the Salvation Army, and the pantry at the Marion VA Hospital.

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News 3 Staff

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