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33rd Annual Stuff-A-Bus Food Drive Wraps Up with $17,393 in Monetary Donations Collected

The 33rd Annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive to benefit the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service officially wrapped up on Tuesday, December 1 at 10:30 a.m. with a small-scale event in the gymnasium at the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service. Representatives from CityLink and the Peoria Friendship House were on hand for media interviews during the event and to announce the total amount of donations collected.

The goal this year was to collect $10,000 in monetary donations for the purchase of non-perishable food. It was announced during the media event that a grand total of $17,393 in monetary donations were collected from October 23 through November 30. The virtual bus was over 173% filled and went well over the $10,000 goal.

“We are beyond thrilled we were able to more than exceed our goal and collect $17,393 in donations for the 33rd Annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive. Having to transition to a virtual food drive presented its challenges, but the generosity we have seen this year just shows the support the community continues to have for this food drive. The Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service is grateful for these donations, which will be a blessing to the families we serve in our food pantry,” said Marcellus Sommerville, President and CEO of Peoria Friendship House.

For the past 33 years, CityLink has hosted the Stuff-A-Bus food drive to help eliminate hunger in Peoria. Donations collected benefit the food pantry at the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service. The Peoria Friendship House provides 350 meals weekly to those dealing with hunger. The food drive was hosted differently this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The 2020 Stuff-A-Bus Committee chose not to collect any physical donations to load onto the vintage bus. Instead, the goal was to collect $10,000 in donations and stuff a virtual bus.

Other organizations and businesses that contributed to the 2020 Stuff-A-Bus food drive include: Ag-Land FS, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local #416; B20 Club in Illinois; CityLink administrative staff; Cumulus Radio staff and listeners; First Baptist Church of Peoria; Ghostbusters of Central Illinois; Peoria Riverfront Museum staff and patrons; the City of West Peoria administrative staff and residents; and WMBD/WYZZ staff and viewers.

Cumulus Radio, WYZZ Fox 43, WMBD CBS 31 and CIPROUD.com were media partners in this food drive. Kroger and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local #416 are also long-time participating sponsors 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. Peoria Friendship House provides valuable services such as food, medical assistance, 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 handout.

Peoria Friendship House forms collaborations with community partners to provide resources outside of their agency. For further information on Peoria Friendship House programs, please 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.

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