As we head further into Spring and with summer break getting here fast, it's often easy to forget the hungry.
Local pantries say shelves are filled around Christmas when donating becomes a priority for many area families and businesses.
Horizon Social Services Program Manager Mark Geissler runs a food pantry and soup kitchen and he says the well can run pretty dry during the warm-weather stretch.
"People really aren't thinking about the hunger so much and what's so false about it unfortunately is that this time of year is so much greater than the other times of the year," said Geissler.
Father Patrick Smith at Quincy's St. John's Anglican Parish says Operation Serve does several projects throughout the year. And, he says, whether it's tending to the garden out back or collecting canned foods, most of it is geared towards helping the hungry.
"We realize that it's a real need out there," said Smith. " A lot of people don't realize or don't understand that hunger is everywhere, including in our own community even though we don't see that. It's very real."
Geissler says every donation - no matter how small - makes a big difference.
"There's always those type of little items on sale. Grab a few or a half dozen of those items," said Geissler. "If a lot of people are doing that and bringing it in to their local food pantries that they sponsor, that would take care of a lot of needs right then and there."
If you'd like to help keep local food pantry shelves stocked, bring your donations to the Dogwood Parade.
WGEM is walking alongside Operation Serve in Saturday's parade.
Volunteers will be pushing shopping carts.
Just toss in your donations and we'll make sure they go to local food banks.
It all starts at 09:30AM Saturday and goes from 24th Street to Washington Park.
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