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MFB Peoria partner agency serves with grace

A bag of groceries, the spirit of prayer, and grace are how volunteers serve the people that come to the food pantry at Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin. Once a month the church opens its gym and guests walk through and fill one or two bags with food, including frozen food items.

Anywhere from 50-100 families come to this pantry event. One of those guests is a grandmother who is raising her 4-year-old granddaughter who has severe cerebral palsy. This child can only eat baby cereal or fruit and vegetable products from pouches, products the pantry receives from Midwest Food Bank.

"Our food pantry would cease to exist without Midwest Food Bank's abundance and generosity," says Gloria Ranney, a volunteer at the pantry. "About 90 percent of the food we give to others is given to us by Midwest Food Bank." 

Since 2005, Grace United Methodist has been using food to help people in their community. They started Grace Cafe, a free meal and fellowship once a month. The food pantry followed a year later.

Additionally, volunteers at the church deliver food to about 75 families. The food pantry at Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin is one of more than 330 food partners that receive food, without charge, from Midwest Food Bank Peoria.

Pekin Grace Café has been a partnering agency for over seven years," says Michelle Hatfield, Agency Coordinator for MFB Peoria. "Gloria and her team have unconditional love for the people they are serving and work hard to make sure their needs are being met."

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