The New Lenox Township food pantry was overflowing with donated items Monday, as well as volunteers helping store it away for needy families.
Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts collected a record 46,954 food items this year, director Bill Thomson said. That about 3,000 more items than last year. The food will be split evenly among the three local food pantries:
Scouts delivered about 9,000 grocery bags to New Lenox homes and collected ones filled with donated food Nov. 13. Kathy Johnson, the family services director at the New Lenox Township, said this haul could last the township for an entire year, at least on some items.
"That frees up money that's donated to go toward other food items that go quicker," she said.
There was so much food donated that the township pantry couldn't even hold all of it. So Johnson allowed some pantry users whose need is greatest, evidenced by their frequent visits, to come by and get a full cartload of items for one day only.
She's also giving leftover items to the Lions Club for Christmas baskets it puts together and donates to needy families.
"This year it will help all of New Lenox," Johnson said of the food drive. "It's a gift that keeps on giving."