The need to address food insecurity in our rural area is clear. Individuals in McDonough County experience a higher rate of poverty than Illinois as a whole (22.3% compared to 13.5%). Among our elementary students, 57% of students at Macomb’s Lincoln School, 68% at B-PC, 61% at West Prairie-South Elementary are eligible for free and reduced lunches, meaning they may face food insecurity during winter break. With recent drastic cuts to federal SNAP benefits by the Trump Administration, many more community members will find themselves in an increasingly desperate situation. When food insecurity rises, a rise in homelessness often follows. We must work to prevent that from becoming our local reality.