Jacksonville Food Center Receives Large Donation from Hy-Vee Following County Market Purchase

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 15, 2023 at 7:45am

An area non-profit’s new location is filled to the brim with food after Jacksonville’s newest retailer made a hefty donation this week.

The Jacksonville Area Community Food Center moved into a much larger space nearly six weeks ago and is already overflowing after Hy-Vee officials called earlier this week.

Food Center Administrator Melissa Hall says she was called earlier this week by officials from the retailer who closed on the purchase of the now former County Market on Monday.

I joke that we are now our mini County Market. They called on Sunday morning asking if I could be there at 7:00 am on Monday and I said sure. They basically donated the entire perimeter of their store. Produce, meat, not a lot of canned goods, but the essentials.”

Hall says Hy-Vee officials told her that a substantial amount of food left from County Market was going to be disposed of. “They told me about four hundred thousand dollars worth of food that they were going to get rid of. And I said oh please don’t do that, we will be your dumpster.

We were out there and it took us over five hours on Monday just to clear the shelves. Hy-Vee has been great in letting us use their walk-in freezer and cooler.

Golden Eagle Distributing has also stepped up this week according to Hall, and is providing refrigeration for roughly 400 gallons of milk, nearly that much in various types of juice, and other refrigeration needs.

Hall says the Food Center is very thankful for the donation of food by Hy-Vee and storage space by Golden Eagle which couldn’t have come a a better time. She says since this time last year, the Food Center’s service numbers are up over 400%, which equates to about 3,000 people coming through the doors each month.

She says the Food Center knows the need for food stability is great everywhere right now, so the center welcomes anyone who is in need. “We’re here Monday through Friday from nine till noon for anyone that needs help. Just come in and we just ask that you be honest and a resident of Morgan County”

You can now find the Jacksonville Food Center in the former Production Press building, located at 311 East Morgan Street. For more information, call the center at 217-243-1122.