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Nancy Lambert: 4-H Federation set to ring bells for Salvation Army Friday at Kroger

By Nancy Lambert
Saline County 4-H
updated: 12/17/2021 1:11 PM

The Saline County 4-H Federation will be ringing the bells for Salvation Army from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17, in front of Harrisburg Kroger. County 4-H youth and adults are invited to join us in this worthy cause. We hope you can come out to Kroger to donate, sing a few Christmas carols and have a cup of hot chocolate with us.

Support pantries this holiday season
The following is a special release from Jenna Smith, University of Illinois Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness.
There are many things to be thankful for this time of year, and one of them is having enough food to nourish our bodies and fill our appetites.

However, the harsh reality is that nearly 20 million U.S. adults reported that in the last seven days their household sometimes or often did not have enough to eat. And for those households with children, nearly one in eight adults lacked sufficient food to feed their household. (Household Pulse Survey, September-October 2021)

Support your local food bank and food pantry by donating food, money, or volunteering your time.

Many people rely on food pantries to provide safe and healthy food, but these food pantries and banks must rely on the community to keep their doors open. A food pantry is an individual site that distributes food and items directly to those in need. A food bank is a nonprofit organization that distributes food to agencies, such as food pantries and soup kitchens.

Hosting a food drive is a great way to get your organization involved in supporting local food banks or food pantries. Contact the food bank or food pantry first to ask if there is a list of preferred items. Don't just clean out your own pantry by grabbing unpopular foods that have been sitting on shelves for months. Shop specifically for food donations and look for nutritious foods.

Purchase shelf-stable fruits packed in 100% juice, low sodium canned vegetables, beans and lentils, canned tuna or chicken, nuts and peanut butter, shelf-stable milk or milk powders, and whole grains such as oats, brown rice, 100% whole grain pasta and bread.

Never donate opened or damaged food or home-canned food and avoid donating food past its "best by," "use by" or "sell by" dates.

More than just food is accepted and needed at food pantries. Diapers, cleaning supplies, paper products and personal hygiene products are usually in high demand.

A monetary donation to a food bank may be better than purchasing food yourself. Many food banks purchase foods at discounted prices, meaning they will get more for the dollar than you or I would get. Plus, they can purchase exactly what their clients need.

In addition to food or financial donations, food banks and pantries need your time, as they rely heavily on volunteers. To find a food bank or food pantry in your community, visit the Find Food IL map on the EAT. MOVE. SAVE. Website at

No matter how you give to your local food pantry or food bank, you will be helping your neighbor access enough wholesome food to adequately feed themselves and their families.

Extension office
The University of Illinois Extension office in Harrisburg will be closed from Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 through Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The office will reopen at 8 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2022.
University of Illinois Extension and Saline County 4-H staff members would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful Happy New Year!

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