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Local charity distributes food in Manito

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MANITO (HOI) - Saturday, one local charity fed hundreds of families in Manito.

Nine years John Lorek started Illinois Ability Sports, a charity set up to help feed families, as he says his own family knows what it is like to need extra help sometimes. The organization works with the Midwest Foodbank of Peoria to donate food to those in need.

"Vast majority of them are really appreciative and say god bless you and thank you and that's what we live for," said Lorek. "We do a big distribution, once a week, or once every two weeks for manito, lewistown, and havana."

Lorek added,tThe selflessness and desire to help never ceases to amaze him

"Everybody comes together like one big family. It's amazing. The volunteers just come out. It's strange to me to see people I don't even know just stepping up to the plate and helping us," said Lorek.

Midwest Central High School cheer sqaud was a huge help too, getting the meals to families. Head coach Cindy Hamblin says half of her team came out to volunteer.

"They were really excited. They jumped on board right away. They wanted to help, and they love to help, that's just it. That was one of their goals for this year to help more people in the community and this was a great way to get us started," said Hamblin.

Coach Hamblin added the girls understand food insecurity may not be a "them" issue, but one everyone should feel compelled to tackle.

"This is our community, and we want to be able to help and touch as many people as we can," added Hamblin.

And Illinois Ability Sports has helped give small towns in Mason County the opportunity to join the effort. Filling the stomachs and hearts of some who may be struggling.

"One family, every time we do this always touches us, and you can see the need in their eyes," said Lorek.

Lorek says picking up and dropping of food is currently a week long process. The organization does not have the equipment to haul the nearly four palettes of food they pick up from the food bank. The charity needs a box truck with a lift and asks people to help in anyway they can.

Gabi Guerrero

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