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32nd Annual Stuff-A-Bus Food Drive Happening Oct. 24-Dec. 3

The 32nd Annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive to benefit the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service officially began on Thursday, October 24 at 10:00 a.m. with a press conference at the Kroger store located at 9219 N. Lindbergh Drive in Peoria. Representatives from CityLink, the Peoria Friendship House and Kroger were on hand to kick off the annual food drive. The goal this year is to collect 11 tons of food.

For the past 32 years, CityLink has hosted the Stuff-A-Bus food drive to help eliminate hunger in Peoria. With a long partnership with Kroger to collect enough food to stuff a classic CityLink bus, the donations collected during the annual food drive benefit the food pantry at the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service. 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

All Peoria Kroger stores are participating in this year’s Stuff-a-Bus campaign, which include the stores located at 9219 Lindbergh Dr.; 801 W. Lake Ave.; and 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:

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is offering a $1 discount off general admission to individuals who donate a non-perishable food item to Stuff-A-Bus throughout the duration of the food drive (One donation is required per person to receive the discount). The Peoria Chiefs are offering two ticket vouchers good for a game in April 2020 to individuals who donate a minimum of five or more non-perishable food items at Dozer Park during Stuff-A-Bus. Please call the Peoria Riverfront Museum at 309-686-7000 and Dozer Park at 309-680-4000 if you have questions about these promotions.

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 non-perishable 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. WMBD and Peoria Cumulus Radio stations will broadcast live from the location inviting people to come to the store and make their food donation to help fill the bus with donations. Television and radio personalities, as well as other special guests, will be on hand throughout the day.
  • 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.

Cumulus Radio, WYZZ Fox 43, WMBD CBS 31 and CIPROUD.com are media partners in this food drive and will air public service announcements about the great need to collect enough groceries to keep the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service food pantry open all year long. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local #416 is also a long-time participating sponsor of Stuff-A-Bus.

The Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service was established in 1951 as a response to the great need for assistance to individuals and families living in deep poverty. Friendship House provides valuable services such as food, clothing, youth education, adult education, employment preparation, and finance and employment coaching, while encouraging lasting change for those it serves. Their Advocacy, Coaching, Education and Support approach provides wrap-around services supported by short and long-term coaching for both the Latino and English-speaking communities. The staff at the Peoria Friendship House are dedicated to providing hope and guidance that offers a “hand-up” rather than handouts.

Peoria Friendship House forms collaborations with community partners to provide resources outside of their agency. For further information on Friendship House programs call 309-671-5200 or visit their website at www.friendship.house. The Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service is proud to be a Heart of Illinois United Way Community Partner.

For the most up-to-date information on this year’s food drive, please “like” the Stuff-A-Bus Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stuffabuspeoria.

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