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Alton pub transforms into food pantry to help people in need

The pantry at Morrison's Irish Pub is on State Street in downtown Alton

ALTON, Ill. — It's a town full of history and character.

"It's been hard for me, I don't really have a job right now," said Eric Hillman.

Built in 1865, the building that houses Morrisons Irish Pub in Alton now has a different purpose after COVID-19 left a lot of people looking for help. 

"In the meantime, I've just been trying to get food and survive really," said Hillman.

Hillman fell on hard times after the virus stifled his search for a job. 

"It's been hard trying to find a job and the type of places I've been applying to aren't hiring," said Hillman.

The message at Morrison's food pantry is simple, take what you need and give what you can, and for a town that's been through a lot over the last year or so people appreciate it more than you'd know.

"This town has been hit hard and this area especially," said good Samaritan Scott Fennewald.

Near-record flooding ran through the town last summer, putting a lot of businesses in jeopardy and costing people their jobs.

"Seems like every summer we take one on the chin but we keep coming back and anything we can do to help out we're willing to do for them," said Fennewald.

Fennewald showed up Sunday with a sack of groceries, right as Hillman was looking for a helping hand. 

"What's your message for people who are going through a hard time like that gentleman? Just keep trying to go forward, keep your faith and God willing things will work out the best for everybody," said Fennewald.

"I'm grateful for people like that, it makes a real difference," added Hillman.

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