For Belvidere's Grace Family Church food pantry, this holiday season the cupboards are a lot more bare.
"It's the least we've ever seen it, that we've ever had it, but we are still making it, but we don't want to go down on the quality or quantity that we do give," Director Jackie Noegel said.
In 2004, nearly 900 people use the pantry each month, almost double the amount from last year. Serving more in need is a mixed emotion for Pastor Keith Manley.
"You're very happy that you are able to feed almost 1000 people, and then on the other hand, it's very sad to see there's that many people in the Boone County area that are in need," Manley said.
That's why Grace volunteers are asking for your holiday donations to help stock shelves and save lives.
"The holiday season is always hard for people, especially when they don't have the food They don't have the shelter at times, so they are looking for someone, and if we can make them smile, we sure want to," Noegel said.
Since the pantry is a volunteer-run organization, each dollar or food donation stretches a long way, the ultimate gift in the season of giving.
"When you realize that we are blessed enough to have to have food, to have shelter, it helps in this holiday season to reach out to those that are a little more unfortunate," Manley said.
If you are interested in helping out with the Grace Food Pantry in Belvidere you can contact them at 547-6311. They are accepting both food and monetary donations.