PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — “Volunteers really are the army within the army at the Salvation Army,” said Major Anita Sells. “We cannot do what we do without them.”

Pekin’s Salvation Army, located in Tazewell County, saw 244 volunteers walk through its doors last year. That equates to more than $42,000 of time donated.

One of those people is Terry Tisdale.

He’s spent the last four years helping curb hunger by volunteering within the organization’s food pantry.

“It feels good to give back,” said volunteer Terry Tisdale. “I’m very thankful for that.”

He said helping those fight food insecurities brings him a sense of fulfillment. But, he also said he’s seen an increase in need within the last few years.

“The high cost of food,” said Tisdale. “It’s really [gone] up a lot and now that people are losing their extra SNAP at the end of the month, we’ve really seen an increase.”

Volunteers can do more than the essential food pantry work.

“We have the only shelter in all of Tazewell County here at the Salvation Army,” said Major Sells. “So, there are lots of needs in that space. Getting people back into permanent housing and things so there’s always a need for something for our residents here in Tazewell County.”