ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Republican
BPD Officer KC Brox loads bags of food from the B-1 Food Pantry into the back seat.

By Anne Eickstadt

The B-1 Food Pantry has its home at the B-1 Church, 1105 7th Ave. Belvidere. It serves residents of Boone County and requests only that the family is pre-registered so they know the people they serve are, indeed, residents of Boone County, how many people they are providing with food, hygiene items, and, once a month, diapers from the Diaper Bank. The B-1 Food Pantry is open on Thursdays, 1 to 3 p.m., rain or shine. In compliance with recent directives from the Northern Illinois Food Bank, on Thursday, March 19, the B-1 Food Pantry operated as a drive-through only to protect their visitors and the volunteers from any possible spreading of COVID-19.

Kristen Smith, director of the B-1 Food Pantry, said, “We will be holding the drive-through Food Pantry for Boone County residents in the hope of getting them through this trying time until we get back to having more of a food market again.

“Everyone who works at the B-1 Food Pantry is a volunteer. The bags of food we are packing for each family contain meat, cheese, salad dressings, canned fruit, canned vegetables, two fruit cups, cereal bars, bagged snacks, two full-sized cereals, bread, carrots, potatoes, and soup. The majority of our people are great. They are thankful for whatever we can help them with even if they cannot pick it out themselves.

“We invited the Belvidere Police Dept. to participate with us to ensure that no one causes trouble, gets out of their vehicle or takes more than their allotted share of food, to direct traffic, and to keep people safe.

“Should we need it in future when we get back to normal, Dr. Woestman, Superintendent of District 100 schools, has given us permission to use the Washington Academy parking lot across the street for overflow parking.

“I’d like to give a big thank you to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the Geneva Parents Organization, and the Rockford Branch of the Food Bank for all they do to provide for our agency. We have a small budget, which we stretch. I don’t know how long it will last but we will provide as long as we can. The Belvidere Police Dept. helped us with food and supplies over Christmas and provided us with enough to last through mid-February.

“If you want to support the B-1 Food Pantry, you can donate to the Northern Illinois Food Bank and designate your donation for B-1.”

Officer Tim Blankenship said, “We are honored to be here assisting with the B-1 Food Pantry. We are happy to help the traffic flow smoothly and keep everyone safe.”

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