PEORIA -- Several churches are helping fill the shelves at a few food banks. Today they ended their services early, and senT members to the store for a shopping spree.
It's not your typical Sunday at Northwoods Community Church in Peoria.
Pastor Cal Rychener told his congregation, "You can either go to Aldi or Walmart, Aldi's benefits Midwest Food Bank and Walmart goes to South Side Mission"
Church-goers and volunteers are shopping for two food pantries, and mambers of every age are doing their part.
16-year-old Trevon Cooper said, "I think it's just a huge joint effort all of us, we all know somebody we can help and just to go out and do that is pretty awesome feeling."
At the South Side Mission, this event keeps the pantry full and 600 families fed every month for ten months.
Right now, the inventory is low, and this incoming food is what the mission is depending on.
The goal is to fill three semi-trucks completely full of food - that's more than 110 thousand pounds of food.
And some people are even donating a little extra. An anonymous donor came by to give the South Side Mission's Executive Director Phil Newton two $1,000 gift cards to Walmart.
Newton said the best thing about today is seeing families work together. "It's inspiring for me to see a family come together as a family, come down and help out with food. whether it's something as small as a bag of food to a big suburban with $1,000 of food that we saw earlier today."
But most importantly, with this fundraiser, he knows he won't have to turn a family in need away.
Newton said, "So the need is always strong. Now we've seen the supply, catch up with the need."
Last year the food drive brought in 40 tons. This year - the goal is 55 tons.