Jake Brawley, Niles freshman, and Kelly Connell, of Niles, are asking residents to buy one more item while at the grocery, and donate it to a local food pantry. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Just One More adds up

Published 4:30pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When Kelly Connell heard that one in six children in Berrien and Cass counties goes to bed hungry every night, the Niles woman knew she needed to do something to help.

“It was so shocking to hear that because most of us just take having something to eat for granted,” she said. “I don’t think people are aware of the local hunger problem.”

With the help of local food pantries and area businesses, Connell is launching the “Just One More” hunger awareness campaign in the greater Niles area.

Connell said she hopes people will purchase one more item each time they go to the grocery store, then donate it to a local food pantry.

“It doesn’t have to be a huge effort — people can make a difference just by purchasing one more item,” she said. “Thousands of people grocery shop every day, and, if 100 people a day bought just one item that would be 700 items a week.”

A Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy student has joined the cause. Jake Brawley, a freshman, said he plans on organizing food drives at his school and giving presentations on the local hunger problem.

“I feel like I really need to help people,” Brawley said. “I never realized so many people in Niles go hungry.”

For more information on upcoming food drives or to get involved, visit and like the Just One More Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/JustOneMoreNiles.

Connell said donation barrels are located at the Niles Save-A-Lot, Harding’s Market, Martin’s Supermarket and Rise N Shine Cafe.

“Hunger isn’t just an issue around the holidays. It’s an issue all year long,” Connell said. “We want a steady stream of food coming in all year long.”

Local food pantries include Niles Salvation Army 424 N. 15th St., Niles; St Mary’s Parish Christian Service Center, 322 Clay St., Niles; Mt Calvary Baptist Church, 601 Ferry St., Niles; and Redbud Area Ministry, 708 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan.

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