GENOA - The Genoa Area Community Food Hub recently received a commercial grade refrigeration unit from Midwest Dairy as part of their Community Relief Grant, according to a news release.
The food hub was nominated by local dairy farmers, Brent and Amber Mueller of Claretta Farm in Garden Prairie.
“I wanted to nominate [the hub] because I grew up in Genoa and know what a wonderful community it is," Amber Mueller said in the release. "I’ve heard wonderful things about [the] food pantry program and we wanted to help make it a continued success to help as many families as possible during these difficult times."
The food hub is operated through DeKalb County Community Gardens (DCCG) and opened in January 2020. Since then, each month the hub has seen a marked increase in households served. Between May 2020 and May 2019, there was an 206.67% increase—350 individuals, including 133 under 18 years old and 38 over 60 years old due to economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
With the pandemic, the food pantry has been distributing prepackaged boxes and online orders to patrons through a drive-thru model, the release states.
“The Muellers applied for a community relief grant and we are fortunate to receive one,” said Haleigh Hunger, hub director. “This unit will help keep the families our food pantry serves nourished with dairy and other perishable items during this unprecedented time.”
Several other local community members have stepped up to help ensure no one goes hungry. Throughout the month of May, Prairie State Winery provided delicious ready-made meals to share with anyone in need. June brought two pay-as-you-are-able drive-thru meals to the community prepared by local chefs Debi Kottmeier of Distinctive Catering by Debi and Rudy Galindo and supplemented by Klein’s Quality Produce in Hampshire and The Milk House Ice Cream in Pingree Grove, the release states.
Each month, the food pantry is open to Genoa-Kingston residents the first and third Monday mornings and the second and fourth Tuesday evenings. To learn more about The Hub, contact Haleigh Hunger at email@example.com or 815-761-7313.
DeKalb County Community Gardens is a local non-profit organization that takes an innovative approach to end hunger and food insecurity in DeKalb County by providing access to healthy, sustainable foods through community education and participation. DCCG works to end hunger in DeKalb County by growing thousands of pounds of sustainably grown produce each year for individuals and families in need.
Since March 19, 2020, DCCG’s Grow Mobile and Genoa Area Community Food Hub has served 6,661 households. 244,419 pounds of food has been purchased or received via direct connect.