Eureka Library ties food drive to reading program theme

By Holly Eaton for Chronicle Media

Eureka Public Library is hosting a food drive to coincide with the February adult reading program. The library will accept food donations for the Eureka Area Food Pantry, and participants are asked to share favorite soup recipes. At the program’s end, the library will give away a prize by drawing. (Photo courtesy of Eureka Public Library)

February is a super time for soup, and Eureka Public Library would like to gather local soup recipes while helping feed the hungry.

In keeping with the classic children’s tale, Stone Soup, adult readers may share their favorite soup recipes while participating in February’s monthly reading program.

“We’ll share the recipes as they come in, and then we’ll create a little collection of favorite community soup recipes,” circulation manager Laura Siscoe said.  “We’ll also have a donation box located on the main circulation floor, and all of the donations will go to the Eureka Area Food Pantry.”

Every month, the pantry on Callender Street provides food for 100 local families, all of which have students in Eureka Community Unit School District 140. Of those families, there are around 123 adults and 74 children, said Eureka United Methodist Church Missions Team vice chairman Norma Savage.

“For a small town, I think we have more coming than people sometimes realize,” she said. “There’s no paid personnel, it’s all volunteer labor, all donated food. We have 22 board members and 12 churches are involved.”

Fewer families visit in December and January, she said, probably due to the generosity of the holidays and the extra giving. In February, though, the need grows. All pantry guests are verified through Woodford County Heart House.

Among the list items that may be donated are canned chicken and tuna, spaghetti noodles and canned sauce, pork and beans, canned potatoes, canned beef stew chicken and dumplings, fruit cocktail, peaches mandarin oranges.

The mission also accepts boxed cake mixes, brownie mixes, Jell-O and pudding, and donations of dry goods, such as toilet paper and paper towels are also welcome.

The reading program runs from Feb. 4 through March 4, but readers may sign up at the

The Eureka Area Food Pantry serves 100 local families a month, all of which have students in Eureka Community Unit School District 140. Through February, Eureka Public Library will accept food donations, and the Eureka IGA on Center Street accepts donations year-round. (Photo courtesy of Eureka IGA)

library now, as well as share recipes and make pantry donations.

Participants are expected to read two hours per week. Those who don’t can make up the two hours by attending a library program instead.

The program runs on an honor system with punch cards, and, as usual, a prize will be awarded by drawing after its finish.

For those who wish to donate to the Eureka Area Food Pantry, there also is a a year-round drop box at the Eureka IGA on Center Street.

For more information on the adult reading program, and other programs the library offers, call 309-467-2922 or visit the Eureka Public Library.

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