Peoria Grown opens Market 309, increasing access to affordable fresh produce

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A local non-profit is making it easier to access fresh produce. People in the 61605 zip code can now get fresh fruits and vegetables for at-cost prices through Market 309.

It’s located in the Logan Recreation Center in Peoria.

“They can take whatever they want and fill their bag for five dollars,” said Julie Elihathamby, the founder of Peoria Grown.

It’s run by Peoria Grown and the market opened its doors Sunday. Elihathamby said she’s determined to make it easier for low-income residents in Peoria to access affordable food.

“We want to make this as easy as possible for the families to be able to come in. Link is one of them, we are in the midst of applying for that so we are hoping to get that sometime in March,” Elihathamby said.

Last year the non-profit started a mobile pantry called Pop Up Produce where members would hand out fresh foods. Elihathamby said eventually she knew they would need a permanent home, especially during the winter months. That’s when the partnership with the Peoria Park District started.

“It’s a way for us to use this space, on a Sunday when we aren’t using it for educational programming, to support our community, to support our wellness and help families have access to fresh produce, ” said Emily Cahill, executive director for the Peoria Park District Director.

Market 309 offers a variety of produce from Hyvee Sheridan each week. Organizers hope to add more options too.

“As the growing season like in the spring and summer. We will have more community gardeners planting and we would like to support them too,” Elihathamby said.

The group will be providing different types of produce each week in order to gather data on what the community really needs and what they should stock.

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