Food For Every Table
$222 raised
2% of $10k goal
1 contributor
4 Years running

The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry, also known as "The Miracle on 5th Street", is a non-profit organization that provides food and non-food products to individuals and families who are living in poverty. The Pantry serves as a bridge to help transition those facing hard times until they become self-sufficient. The goal is to give people hope and to make a difference in their lives. 

Several years ago, I was working as an office manager at a local church. The office was directly across from a strip mall where a well established Pizza restaurant existed. People started going through the dumpster behind the restaurant. One morning, a woman going through the dumpster was looking for food and there were three small children sitting in the back of her car. It was then that I decided to do something about the hunger problem in our community. I started by filling a closet at the church with nutritional food products. That closet has grown to nearly 20,000 square feet where we house food products; non-food products like clothes, house wares, pet food, furniture, appliances, etc. This food pantry has become a resource center for those facing a difficult time in their lives.

Over 2,000 people are fed each month; a snack program is provided for children in our County’s grade schools (last year 10,000 snacks were served); as well as delivering food to shut-ins; just to mention a few programs offered. We have food distribution every Tuesday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. 

Those in need who come to the BBCFP on these distribution days express how blessed they are that the pantry is here to help them in their time of need. Clients are welcome to take nutritional foods such as fresh produce, meats, frozen goods, canned goods, bread and bakery items. The pantry also provides, pet food, cat litter, medication, shampoo, diapers, baby food, baby formula, cleaning products, toilet paper, clothes, shoes, toys, books, movies, small furniture, school supplies and so much more. BBCFP provides about $375.00 of nutritional food each month as well as non-food products to each client served.

It costs nearly $20,000.00 a month to keep the doors open and keep the food and non-food items coming in so those in need can be assisted. Donations for The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry are going to be used to purchase more food. It costs .18 cents for a pound of food. If you donate $5.00 you are helping us purchase about 28 pounds of food for those in need! 

In 2010, Boone County was placed on the State of Illinois’ Poverty Watch List by the Heartland Alliance’s Mid American Institute on Poverty in its 2009 Report on Illinois Poverty. As of July, 2013, the unemployment rate for Boone County was 10.9% as reported by the Illinois Department of Employment Security; as of March, 2014, the rate is 12.3% - the highest of all counties in Illinois. We need you to help this cause! A report from Feeding America, the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of food assistance to low-income Americans, finds that one in seven Americans rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the people we serve are on the lower level of the pyramid which include breathing, food, water, shelter, clothing and sleep. Our agency is the last stop before individuals or families reach destitution. Any donations are appreciated not only by us at the pantry but also by every underprivileged family that is served in Boone County. 

In closing, many years ago I was raising two children on my own without the benefit of child support or community support. There were no food pantries or places to go for free clothing, school supplies, or other daily essentials. I truly believe that we go through phases in our lives that build character, that mold us, and make us who we are created to be. I found the purpose in my life at the age of 50 and I have not looked back. Thanks for allowing me to share my purpose, my vision and my heart with you today.
Thank You SO Much & God Bless.

 Respectfully, Linda Clark (Executive Director)

Here are some testimonials from a few clients that say The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry has changed their lives. 

Gail writes that she was a single mother with six children trying to make it through each day as best she could. Feeding her children was always difficult until she started coming to the food pantry. Her electricity had been turned off because she chose food for her children instead of paying the utilities. They did not have the basic daily living necessities or proper clothing. She was overwhelmed with gratitude for the food, clothing, and daily necessities she received from The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry. When she left on the first day, she states she felt so blessed and her children were thrilled. The food pantry has changed her life in many ways. She no longer has to worry about how to feed her six children and can pay her electric bill and her children can attend school without feeling so embarrassed about the clothes they wear. She also started volunteering at the food pantry, when she has time, so she can give back to those who make it possible for her family to have an easier life.

Debra, who writes that she and her husband had both lost their jobs and lost their house due to foreclosure and mounting debt. Not knowing where to go when evicted or how to get food to eat, she saw a brochure for The Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry in an employment agency and sought out their help with apprehension. They were given food, clothing and daily needed supplies. She states that, “without God’s help guiding her to the pantry, she doesn’t know where she would be today”. Her husband has recently found a job and they are starting to recover but are grateful to “The Miracle on Fifth Street”, which she states is the best kept secret in Boone County.

Jay writes that in 2004 she became a victim of breast cancer and that she and her husband had lost their business due to unforeseen circumstances. The bank foreclosed on their home, and they had to use up their entire savings to pay her medical bills. A friend told her about the Belvidere/Boone County Food Pantry. She felt ashamed at first, to go for help. On her first visit, she was treated with respect and knew that there were people who cared for her and showed compassion for what she was going through. They gave her hope and the strength to go on, along with a quantity and good quality of food products. She has been using the pantry for the last year and half and hopes for the day when she will be able to stand-alone financially again. She states that she now has a purpose in life and volunteers at the pantry who gave her hope as she wants others to feel less burdened when things go bad in their lives. She considers the food pantry staff her second family and will always have a deep affection for all of them.

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