DeKALB – DeKalb resident Missy Garman works every day with families who don’t know when their next meal will be.
That’s why Garman donated 271 pounds of goods during the 13th annual Freezin’ for Food drive, which benefits the pantry at the DeKalb Salvation Army and serves DeKalb County families. The drive started Wednesday and continues through noon Saturday at the Target-Aldi shopping center, 2500 block of Sycamore Road, DeKalb.
“The most basic necessities are food, clothing and shelter,” Garman said. “Food is the most basic need there is. You have to have food.”
By 4 p.m. Thursday, 6,515 pounds of food were collected. Nestle donated 800 pounds, and Kishwaukee College donated 450 pounds. Organizers also received $1,000 in monetary donations. Freezin’ For Food’s goal is to donate 17,000 pounds of food after collecting 17,026 pounds of food and about $3,000 in cash donations last year.
WLBK-AM Morning Show Host Terry “TD” Ryan is camped out at the collection site for the cause. He was equipped Thursday with a “sub-zero hero” hat to keep warm.
Ryan, red-faced from the chilling wind, said he has to stay outside, because someone criticized him during a previous year when he was collecting donations inside at Bradley Manning Ford.
“It seems like no matter what time of the year we do it, we get worse weather,” Ryan said.
Malta resident Mike Nelson said he has donated to Freezin’ for Food every year since it began. Nelson was in a difficult financial situation before, so he understands the need.
“It makes a big difference because of the price of food,” he said. “It seems like people are having more kids, so there are more mouths to feed.”
Like Garman, DeKalb resident Linda Wiggins works with those in need. She serves on the board of the Voluntary Action Center, which provides food and transportation to the disabled and elderly.
Wiggins is aware her donation itself won’t help much, but “collectively, we can make a huge difference,” she said.
“I get hungry every day, and I’m blessed I don’t have any food insecurity,” Wiggins said. “Our neighbors face that every day. It’s [about] paying it forward.”