Rockford and local areas will receive free potatoes thanks to United Methodist Men. Their 30-year program helps make sure families are fed and local food pantries stocked.
"Its really a mission program relative to trying to help people who otherwise might not have a meal tomorrow," United Methodist Men Conference President Steve Nailor said.
42 thousand pounds of potatoes arrived at 7 o'clock Saturday morning at Grace United Methodist church. The potatoes would later be delivered to food pantries by volunteers, in the group.
"This is the annual meeting of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Men and as part of our meeting we're having a potato drop," Volunteer John Lamoreux said.
He said they would deliver potatoes to food pantries in Rockford and surrounding areas.
"I'm from the Lanark area so we will be covering pantries in the Shannon community, Milledgeville, as far south as Erie, and Clinton Iowa," Lamoreux said .
Church Pastor Pam Ross Miller worked inside preparing with others for the conference, while volunteers greeted a truck full of potatoes.
"They're are hungry people and they're people for whom, a 10 pound bag of potatoes sure makes a difference," Ross Miller said.
Nailor said every year since 1983 the United Methodist Church and their organization has worked with society of St. Andrews, to help feed families through this program. he says potatoes people could have eaten were tossed out by food companies.
"They wouldn't pass grade to make potato chips, so they would send them to the dump," Nailor said.
Now they collect those potatoes. This weekend's shipment is from Stevens Point, Wisconsin
"We use our young adults for mission projects to go out and glean potatoes," Nailor said. "There's no reason for our country to have people going hungry."
Rockford's United Methodist men will also have their 8th annual harmony for hunger concert at the Hononegah Performing Arts Center April 15th to benefit food pantries.