COLLINSVILLE – Every day food pantries strive to provide food and hope to those faced with food insecurities. Recognizing the important role these organizations play in local communities, Ameren Illinois stepped up to assist 35 food pantries across its service territory by donating a new energy efficient convertible refrigerator/freezer.

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As food pantries have seen a rise in demand for assistance since the beginning of the pandemic, they have seen an increased need to store food safely to keep it fresh. In March, Ameren Illinois provided these refrigerator/freezers to an additional 26 food pantries to empower their efforts to feed more families.

“We have heard from many food pantries expressing a need for help, so we wanted spread some much needed holiday cheer,” said Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. "At Ameren Illinois, we strive to be a part of the communities these pantries serve and we wanted to answer the call for help. With the additional refrigerator space, we are empowering food pantries to continue to alleviate hunger.”

The donations were made possible through Ameren Cares which connects Ameren Illinois with communities through charitable giving and volunteering. A key focus of the program is to partner with nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life in Ameren Illinois’ service territory.

The ENERGY STAR® 17 cubic foot upright convertible refrigerator/freezer will not only allow the pantries to serve more families in need, it will also help them save on energy costs. As part of the EmPowered Pantries Program, food pantries will receive a free facility assessment to identify energy-efficient opportunities to help improve comfort, manage usage, and reduce costs.

Food pantry recipients include:

· The Good Samaritan Inn, Decatur

· New Vision Food Pantry, Decatur

· Blessings Food Pantry, Mattoon

· Upper Room Street Ministries Mobile Food Pantry, Robinson

· The Salvation Army of Vermilion County, Danville

· RLGM Food Pantry, Paris

· Peoria Friendship House Food Pantry

· Porch Pantry Peoria LTD

· Pekin Lighthouse Church of God

· New Shining Light Feed the Hungry, Venice

· Venice Township, Madison

· Jeremiah's Food Pantry, East St. Louis

· Guardian Angel Food Pantry, Alton

· Community Interfaith Food Pantry, Belleville

· Community for Christ Assistance Center, Camp Point

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· Du Quoin Food Pantry

· Least Of The Brethren Ministry, Pinckneyville

· ParkAve Baptist Church Food Pantry, Mount Vernon

· Neighborhood Market, Clinton

· Restoration Urban Ministries, Champaign

· Georgetown Ridge Farm School Market, Georgetown

· EIU Campus Food Pantry, Charleston

· The Victory Dream Center in Carbondale

· Pekin Grace United Methodist Church

· SVAT, Spring Valley

· The Ottawa Salvation Army

· Bond County Senior Citizens, Inc., Greenville

· The Mind of Christ Church, East St. Louis

· Collinsville Food Pantry

· Tri-State Family Services, Carthage

· VCC Community Cupboard, Vermont

· Open Hands Food Pantry, Lutheran Church of St. John, Quincy

· LifeSource Food Pantry, West Frankfort

· Salem Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Jonesboro

· Ministry for the. Broken. Hearted, Christopher

About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

'Tis the Season to Shop Small and Save! Shop Small Saturday, November 27th.