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Stuff-A-Bus Returns to Peoria for 26th Year

Can Peoria stuff a CityLink bus?
PEORIA – An old-style CityLink bus parked at the Lindbergh Drive Kroger on Saturday sat empty, but prepared for a month-long food drive to serve Peoria’s poorest.

"This is the 26th year of Stuff-a-Bus," said CityLink General Manager, Tom Lucek.

The long running campaign urges shoppers at local Kroger stores to donate a little bit at the checkout towards food for others. When it’s over, the food will all be packed onto the old bus.

"Food is our business and we need to help support the community in which we serve every single day," said Kroger Regional Manager, Gregg Proctor.

That food will end up in the food pantry at the Peoria Friendship House.

"Peoria’s most needy; people who really kind of fall between the cracks, that need a little help to get back on their feet," Lucek said.

Jenny Lee is the Director of Community Support at the Friendship House and said they are hurting for donation.

"Our shelves are bare."

She hopes the collection will keep the food pantry stocked so it can continue feeding a growing line at the door.

"We are more than double our need so we have on average 25 to 50 new families every panty each week," Lee said.

Lately, all that some families have been getting is less than meal-worthy, Lee said.

"We had individuals that came in the latter part of pantry and all we had left to give them was green beans crackers and soup.”

Shoppers can pick up a $3, $5 or $10 pre-packaged bag of food, or buy a coupon which will help buy food for the cause, and Lucek said it’s a good one.

"You know you're doing something good and you're making a difference in other peoples’ lives."

By the time the stuff-a-bus campaign wraps up, organizers hope to have collected nine tons of food. The bus will move around to different locations, but people can always make donations at the Krogers on 9219 Lindbergh Dr.; 801 W. Lake Dr.; 3311 N. Sterling Ave.; 2321 N. Wisconsin; and 3103 Harmon Highway. The Kroger store in East Peoria is also participating.

The Stuff-a-Bus Campaign ends on December 2nd.
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