Tom Smith retires from Consolidated Grain and Barge Company and makes unique donation to Putnam County Food Pantry

GRANVILLE – Tom Smith of Granville retired last month from Consolidated Grain and Barge Company in Hennepin after working 40 years for the company.

On his last day, his fellow employees gave him a collection of pennies that was kept in the office and used for community change when people purchased items from the vending machine. Smith, who worked the scales at CGB, would exchange needed coins for people wanting to purchase items or make change. Over the years, the change collection grew to 7,928 pennies.

Smith accepted the gift from his employees on his last day on the job and decided to donate it to a good cause – the Putnam County Food Pantry.

The food pantry graciously accepted the donation, which Smith cashed in at the bank before handing over.

Judy Hopkins, vice president of the food pantry, said she’s never seen a donation like Smith’s but nonetheless was very thankful for it. She said cash donations are always helpful for the pantry to purchase food or toiletry items that are not available through the River Bend Food Bank.

Hopkins said the food pantry is available for anyone in need in Putnam County. The food pantry serves about 100 patrons a month, including anywhere between 10 and 20 families.

New clients may register any Saturday between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Verification of residence in Putnam County is the only requirement and can best be met by showing a current bill addressed to the new client’s street address.

The Putnam County Food Pantry is located in the basement of the Granville United Church of Christ, 103 N. Church St., Granville.

Donations to the food pantry can be sent to P.O. Box 96, Granville, IL 61326.