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Two days of food lost after Neighborhood House pantry loses power

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PEORIA (HOI) -- A day after powerful storms knocked out power across Illinois, thousands were still in the dark.

LaSalle County accounted for the most, with nearly 500 separate outages impacting more than 13,000 people.

In Peoria County, 140 outages were still being reported, with approximately 1,200 people in the dark, including one local relief organization.

Neighborhood House in Peoria has been trying to keep up with an increase in demand as a result of the pandemic and the economic stress that comes with it.

Among the services they provide is food. They feed roughly 1,200 people every day.

But when Monday's storm knocked out their power, all the food stormed in their refrigerators and freezers was destroyed.

On Tuesday, they had to dump all of it in the dumpster.

"Unfortunately, we weren't able to serve any hot meals today," explained Bryna Ryan, the Chief Operating Officer for Neighborhood House, "We've been delivering shelf-stable meals to our Meals on Wheels clients, so our staff went out with shelf-stable meals and did a wellness check on our seniors. We also delivered family food pantry boxes to our youth families that typically receive hot meals as well."

In total, Ryan estimates that they lost two complete days of food.

They're borrowing a refrigerated truck in hopes of providing hot meals for those in need by Wednesday.

Sheridan Swathwood

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