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North Chicago Food Pantry's Supplies Ruined By Floods

NORTH CHICAGO (CBS) -- A small north suburban food bank has been struggling to help people in need, after much of their supplies were destroyed by last week's floods.

CBS 2's Chris Martinez explains how you can help them fulfill their mission.

Pastor Trudy Griffins showed off the basement where all of Emmanuel Faith Food Pantry's food was stored, until flood waters soaked the basement and everything in it.

"This was all packed with food. We lost all the food. We had about 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 pallets of food in here," Griffins said. "It's all gone."

The North Chicago pantry run by Emmanuel Faith Bible Christian Church had to toss out all the food on its shelves and its freezers. Twelve of the pantry's 14 freezers were ruined.

"All these have to go, and we had freezers all the way around, but they're all gone," she said.

It was a crippling blow for the small food bank, where about 300 people line up once a week for food.

That number jumped by about 100 this week, as the strain of the flood was felt region-wide.

Donna Lake, spokeswoman for the Northern Illinois Food Bank, said, "Our pantries are telling us that they're seeing an increase. Some of our soup kitchens have seen an increase. In some areas, it's up to 45 percent."

The surge of need is expected to linger for months.

It's especially challenging for a food bank where food is now scarce.

Right now, all that's left inside the Emmanuel Faith Food Pantry are supplies and paint.

"Trying to get straightened out, trying to get cleaned up, because there's no way we could put people down here right now," Griffins said.

A church that helps so many is now in need of help. They'll be relying on donations and volunteers to help pay for new freezers and food.

If you'd like to help the Emmanuel Faith Food Pantry as they make their repairs, give them a call at 847-473-4862.

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