A former prostitute, a Rockford cop and a businessman. They may sound like an unlikely trio. But together, they’re the perfect combination to make a difference.
“On a daily basis, two or three people come to our door for food every day just through word of mouth,” said Carly Rice, a community activist who used to be homeless.
Rice knows what it’s like to be hungry and alone. She was a drug addict and a prostitute before she turned her life around. It’s why she started walking around the Midtown neighborhood feeding homeless people healthy meals. But her little red wagon and home refrigerator could only do so much, That’s when Jim McIlroy, owner of Food 4 Fuel, stepped in.
“I’ve had this vision for a long time of a refrigerator, putting it downtown and just allow people to come and take what they need,” said McIlroy.
He donated a commercial refrigerator to Carly, along with a promise to help her in her mission. He supplies some of the healthy food that will fill it. But the help doesn’t stop there. Resident Police Officer Eric Thurmond has joined on too.
“Especially in my line of work, I don’t know how long I have on this Earth. So while I’m here I’m going to anything and everything to leave this place better than when I got here,” said Thurmond.
“He knows who the people are who are in really great need and he’s spending some of his own money to buy food,” said McIlroy.
Between the three of them they make, store and deliver the healthy food to anyone who needs it. But it’s not just about filling stomachs. It’s also about feeding souls.
“There are organizations out there for them but some of them don’t feel like they’re worthy of it and that’s a problem. So they need somebody in between that tells them ‘Hey, you know, you’re loved and you’re worthy.’,” said Rice.
A message the trio is focused on giving to anyone who needs a helping hand.
If you’d like to help, you can drop off donations of food or other products on Mondays to 1125 5th Avenue in Rockford.
Read the full article, here.