PEORIA, Ill. — As the holidays are quickly approaching, local organizations across central Illinois are gearing up to help those less fortunate.
Kroger, CityLink, and other area businesses kicked off their Stuff A Bus campaign Thursday afternoon to benefit Peoria Friendship House.
Friendship house provided more than 50,000 meals to families in need last year. Since January of this year, the Peoria Friendship House food pantry has provided meals weekly to 40-50 families who are dealing with hunger in Peoria.
This food drive will help provide for families who need assistance.
“We wouldn’t be doing it for this long if we didn’t know how important it was for us to be contributing to the community. We know the service we provide is something that is very vital to a lot of people and this is just an extension, and we know that food can be a real struggle for people to keep on the table,” said Emily Watson, Director of Marketing for CityLink. “It is a perfect partnership to use one of our buses, a classic 1975 bus, fill it up with food, and then donate it to a local food pantry. It’s such a worthwhile cause and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it.”
To learn more about how you can donate or when specific events will be happening towards the drive, you can head here.
Peoria Kroger locations include:
•9219 Lindbergh Dr.
•801 W. Lake Ave.
•3311 N. Sterling Ave.
The Kroger store in East Peoria, located at 201 S. Main St., is also participating. Kroger stores will have pre-bagged food and cash coupons available for purchase to make giving even easier. The contents of the $3, $5 and $10 bags have been selected to provide a good balance of nutritional items.
The following businesses/organizations are also serving as drop-off locations during the 2019 Stuff-A-Bus food drive:
• CityLink Administrative offices (2105 NE Jefferson Ave, Peoria, IL 61603)
• Dozer Park (730 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria, IL 61605)
• Peoria Riverfront Museum (222 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL 61602)
• West Peoria City Hall (2506 W. Rohmann Ave, West Peoria, IL 61604)
• WMBD Studios (3131 N. University St, Peoria, IL 61604)
Throughout the 2019 Stuff-A-Bus campaign, various activities will be held in support of the food drive:
• November 6: Ride Free Day – Passengers can ride free on CityLink fixed route buses with the donation of a non-perishable food item. One donation is required per ride.
• November 9/10: Stuff-A-Bus Games with the Peoria Mustangs. Fans who bring a donation of nonperishable food to the games will receive a special giveaway courtesy of CityLink. Game time on Nov. 9 is 6:45 p.m. and game time on Nov. 10 is 1:15 p.m. Both games are played at Owens Center.
• November 13: Ride Free Day – Passengers can ride free on CityLink fixed route buses with the donation of a non-perishable food item. One donation is required per ride.
• November 17: Ghostbusters Peoria “Stuff-an-Ecto” event at the Kroger store in East Peoria from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• November 18: Calendar Day – The public can receive a free 2020 Peoria Historical Calendar in exchange for a donation of non-perishable food at the CityLink Transit Center or Administrative offices.
• November 22: The 6th Annual Day of Stuffing will take place at the Kroger Store located at 801 W. Lake Ave from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• November 29/30: Stuff-A-Bus Nights at the Peoria Rivermen games against the Huntsville Havoc. Fans who bring a donation of non-perishable food to the game will receive a raffle ticket to win a signed authentic PEANUTS Charlie Brown Thanksgiving jersey. The jerseys will be auctioned off during the 3rd period of each respective game. Game time is at 7:15 p.m. both nights at the Peoria Civic Center. (One raffle ticket will be handed out per donated item – i.e. One fan can bring five items and receive five raffle tickets)
• December 3: Weigh-In Day Press Conference – the final weight of the food collected will be revealed at a press conference at the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service at 10:00 a.m.