Food pantries benefit from WCU fundraiser

Mark Wiewel
Posted: Jan. 19, 2013 3:24 pm Updated: Feb. 2, 2013 11:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Tammy Schmitz says very few can realize how much the money will help.

"We'll stretch it as far as we can to help as many people as we can," said Schmitz, who coordinates the food pantry for St. Francis Church.

St. Francis is receiving the largest amount -- $6,805 -- from the $23,053 raised by Western Catholic Union President Mark Wiewel's annual Bike For Food charity ride last summer. The fundraiser will assist 10 different food pantries in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

Despite the success of the event, Wiewel wanted to emphasize the funds are an assistance, not an answer.

"There's still a great need to help our local food pantries," said Wiewel, who announced WCU matched donations up to $500 for each of the pantries.

The donations that will be awarded include:

º $6,805 for St. Francis food pantry in Quincy.

º $3,762 for Quincy Catholic Charities.

º $2,700 for Ladies of Charity in Quincy.

* $2,075 for Canton Council of Churches in Canton, Mo.

* $2,041 for Palmyra (Mo.) Food Pantry.

* $1,500 for Madonna House in Quincy.

* $1,425 for Douglass Community Center in Hannibal.

º $1,192 for Quanada in Quincy.

* $1,055 for Horizons Social Services in Quincy.

º $498 for the Quincy Salvation Army.

"This money will go for the groceries that are not covered through donations," Schmitz said. "This will help tremendously."

Schmitz said she has been involved with the St. Francis pantry for "six or seven years" and needs have skyrocketed.

"When I first started, we were helping about 300 (individuals and families) a year," she said. "Last year we helped 3,000."

Wiewel raised this year's funds through a six-day, 310-mile trip from Dixon to Savanna, Quad Cities and back to Dixon.