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MFB Morton celebrates 10 years of service

Hindsight is 20/20, and as Midwest Food Bank Morton celebrates its 10th anniversary, we can now see how God was putting things in place over the last decade.

The story starts much earlier. MFB was established in 2003 in Bloomington, Illinois, and just a couple of years later, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Everyone across the United States offered help, including MFB founder David Kieser. He took a semi-load of food to the area and then promised the Salvation Army ten more loads. He had yet to learn where he would get that food.

Meanwhile, in Morton, a church was collecting items but didn't know how to get them delivered. David contacted the church and learned they had three loads ready to go. It was the start of a relationship between MFB and the community of Morton.
Meanwhile, MFB continued to grow with locations established in Peoria, Indiana, and Georgia. In early 2011 MFB leaders and Morton community members started brainstorming. In April 2012, a local board of directors was established, and work began locating a building for MFB Morton.
God's timing was speedy. A suitable site was located in May. The $400,000 needed for a down payment was secured, and the local board closed on the site in October.
Then skilled volunteers got to work adapting the building. The donated time of so many people allowed the project to come in under budget.
Billy Daniel, a board member for MFB Morton, has been there since the beginning. He helped take loads for Hurricane Katrina, has been on the local board since day one, and was part of the skilled crew that made the Morton warehouse into what it is today. He has seen firsthand how many people have been a part of MFB Morton.

"Everyone is doing their job all along the line," says Billy. "Each day, we trust God and what He has in store. There's a bigger plan than we can see."

In 2013 volunteers started coming to MFB Morton, and they supported the Peoria location's work and eventually the Bloomington-Normal site, too. MFB Morton became the hub of the Tender Mercies program with the moving of the Tender Mercies packaging machine. Through countless hours from volunteers, over 17 million servings of Tender Mercies meals have been produced in Morton and sent locally and globally to date.
In 2021 Morton became the hub for MFB's disaster relief program. Products for family food boxes, hygiene kits, and cleaning kits are stored at MFB Morton. In 2022, about 20,000 family food boxes and 5,000 hygiene kits were sent from MFB Morton to disaster sites.

"Morton and surrounding communities have shown up big when needed," says Lisa Martin, Executive Director of MFB Morton. "They fund and package family food boxes for disasters such as the pandemic, ice storms, tornadoes, flooding, and hurricanes."

The people in Morton and surrounding communities have responded to MFB and its mission. Many volunteers showed up on those Saturdays a decade ago to transform the building into MFB. New volunteers continue to walk through the doors every day. MFB Morton now has over 1,500 volunteers that donate over 16,000 hours each year to help MFB serve others.

"Thank you to all who have been a part of God's story here at Midwest Food Bank Morton," says Lisa. 

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