PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Leaders at Peoria’s South Side Mission call the 61605 area code a “food desert.”
“No grocery stores down in the immediate area. You know, just up the hill, they closed the Kroger a while back,” said Rich Draeger, Development Manager at South Side Mission. “This is an effort to get some necessary groceries out in the hands of folks.”
Saturday morning, May 8, South Side Mission partnered with the Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief Group in a food box distribution.
The boxes featured fresh items like milk and meat. Drivers had to show ID and proof of residence, and the distribution was on a first-come-first-served basis.
“As a part of the 61605, we are always about trying to identify pockets where we can get involved, and try to help out and alleviate some of the issues people are having here on the South End,” Draeger said.
This food box distribution is separate from the food pantry at the accompanying South Side Mission Benevolence Center, which is open Monday-Friday at noon.
“We’re starting to open up with volunteer opportunities more,” Draeger said.