A Quad City company famous for clearing drains is helping to fight hunger. Roto-Rooter staffers are working to supply two dozen food pantries affiliated with Churches United.
Inside the food pantry at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Davenport, supplies reflect the times. Some shelves are bare. The freezer needs restocking. As one of Churches United's pantries, it's the roughest year yet.
"We've had to cut back the inventory of what we give to families by virtue of the fact that we're seeing an increase of families coming into the pantries," said Anne Wachal, program director for Churches United.
That's why the team from Roto-Rooter is rolling into action on Friday morning. Jaime Garcia is making a special delivery.
The armloads of cans represent donations from business and residential clients. Until the end of October, the company is matching food and cash donations from its customers.
"We're already there charging them for a service call," Garcia said. "For them to go into their own pantry and still donate, it makes it even better."
Each one of the bags inside St. Mark's represent a family. The donations can make a difference during difficult times. Roto-Rooter is ready to help these food pantries to meet the need.
The client load is up nearly 30% at St. Mark's this year. Through June, Churches United served 46,000 people in Iowa and Illinois.
"When Roto-Rooter called and said we want to do this, we said, you tell us what you want, and we'll help you out," Wachal said.
As food pantries try to stretch dollars even more, the crew from Roto-Rooter is a welcome sight. It's food for thought at this facility.
To help Churches United with a cash or food donation, check out http://www.cuqca.com, or call (563) 332-5002. Each of the pantries is staffed by volunteers.
"Our saying around here is give them food," said pantry director Beverly Rostenbach.
With help from Roto-Rooter, they're fighting hunger, one can at a time.