The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Clothing Store Opens

Helps stock Food Pantry at FOCC

Eight hundred and ninety one people live in poverty in Henderson County according to the US Census Bureau.

The Family Outreach Community Center is helping 100 of those families currently and their numbers continue to grow each week.

Serving over 350 people in those 100 families, the FOCC has had to come up with creative ways to fundraise and bring in money to help keep the food pantry shelves stocked.

The Family Outreach Community Center, also known as FOCC, mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Henderson County by providing assistance for low-income families, implementing programs targeted towards strengthening the community, and assisting other existing outreach programs in the county. FOCC is a non-profit organization and relies on generous donation from churches, community members, grants and fundraising to keep the food pantry stocked and to provide other services to the community such as the Operation Backpack Program.

The Operation Backpack program helps children in the West Central district that may need meal assistance on the weekends, when school lunch programs are not available. Each week FOCC volunteers pack 30 bags full of food and snacks and then deliver the bags to the school, where the school then discretely puts the bags in the children's bookbags.

Clients of FOCC are welcomed to come once a week for food and they get to choose the types of food they would like by "shopping" through the pantry shelves. Soups, vegetables and fruits fill the shelves, but also peanut butter, cereal, brownie mixes, chips, juice, pastas and even meats are items that clients can choose from. FOCC tries to also keep personal hygiene items stocked such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, shampoo and toothpaste. Breads, fresh produce and dairy items are available a lot of the times for clients also.

One of the creative fundraising ideas, to help raise money for the food pantry, began late this summer, when the Second Chance Clothing store opened. The Second Chance Clothing Store provides gently used clothing to anyone in the community for a small fee. The money made from the Second Chance Clothing Store is then used to purchase food for the food pantry. The clothing for the store comes from generous donations and FOCC is always taking donations. All clothes are washed, dried and hung according to size and gender for easy shopping. Clients of FOCC can shop once a month for free and get needed items for themselves and their family.

The FOCC is located in the basement of the Farm Bureau, located at 410 East Main Street in Stronghurst. Their hours are Monday through Friday 9am until 4 pm. For more information please call (309) 924-1872.