PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Last year organizers canceled Neighborhood House’s annual “Food Fight” fundraiser due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s back this year.

“It is a fundraising program to benefit our meals programs. We have ten chefs that will be competing. They will be given a mystery bag of food items and 45 minutes to prepare a meal with those mystery items,” said Neighborhood House President and Ceo Julie Bonar.

Their pantry, in-house meal programs, and especially the Meals On Wheels program will all benefit from Thursday night’s event.

“That’s our largest program. We serve close to one thousand meals a day to seniors within Peoria and Tazewell County,” said Bonar.

The Meals On Wheels program provides social interaction for some of their clients and a wellness check too.

It’s even sparked an additional program for their clients.

“We discovered that as we were doing wellness checks some of our clients were sharing their meals with their beloved pets and as a result, they weren’t getting the nutrition they needed,” said Bonar.

Mike Walters, who has been working with neighborhood house for about two years, says that his family has benefitted from the Meals On Wheels program.

“My wife’s parents, as they got elderly, relied on the Meals On Wheels delivery each day. It was a check to see how they were doing each day where they couldn’t pop in,” said Neighborhood House worker Mike Walters.

And he’s glad the annual event is back.

“We look forward to it every year. And I attend every year and  I even volunteer and donate items to raise money. So, to not have that…We missed it a lot, ” said Walters.