35th Annual Stuff-A-Bus Food Drive Sets Goal of Collecting 11 Tons Oct. 28-Nov. 30
The 35th Annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive to benefit the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service officially began on Friday, October 28 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. During the press conference, it was announced that Stuff-A-Bus plans to outdo the donations collected in 2021 and set a goal to collect 11 tons of food onto the vintage CityLink bus. Kroger donated flats non-perishable food valued at $2500 to get the donations started.
To mark the kickoff this year, there was a live broadcast at the Kroger on Lindbergh from Cumulus Radio station Z 92.3 from 8:00 am to 10:00 am encouraging listeners to stop by the kickoff event and donate to Stuff-A-Bus. Additionally, there will be a special performance by the Manual High School Drumline immediately following the press conference outside by the vintage bus.
For the past 35 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 an average of 450 meals weekly to families who are dealing with hunger in Peoria.
All Peoria Kroger stores are participating in this year’s Stuff-a-Bus campaign, which includes the stores in Peoria 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. The participating Kroger stores have donation displays available that include non-perishable food items that are needed at the Peoria Friendship House food pantry. Shoppers can simply purchase items from the displays or purchase food off the shelves and place the donations in the bins located at the front of the stores.
The following businesses/organizations are also serving as drop off locations during the 2022 Stuff-A-Bus food drive:
- CityLink Administrative offices (2105 NE Jefferson Avenue, Peoria, IL 61603)
- Dozer Park (730 SW Jefferson Avenue, Peoria, IL 61605)
- Jones Bros. Jewelers (7705 North Grand Prairie Drive, Peoria, IL 61615)
- Peoria Riverfront Museum (222 SW Washington Street, Peoria, IL 61602)
- West Peoria City Hall (2506 W. Rohmann Avenue, West Peoria, IL 61604)
- WMBD Studios (3131 N. University Street, Peoria, IL 61604)
The Peoria Riverfront Museum is offering a $3 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 2023 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 2022 Stuff-A-Bus campaign, various activities will be held in support of the food drive:
- October 29: Stuff-A-Bus donation collection event with the Peoria Fire Department at the Kroger located at 801 W. Lake Ave. in Peoria from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- October 29: Stuff-A-Bus Game with the Peoria Mustangs. Fans who bring a donation of non-perishable food to the game will receive free entry to the game and a special giveaway item courtesy of CityLink. One donation is required per person for free entry. Game time is at 6:00 p.m. and the game is played at Owens Center.
- October 30: Stuff-A-Bus donation collection event with the Peoria Mustangs players at the Kroger located at 3311 N. Sterling Ave. in Peoria from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- November 2: 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 6: Stuff-A-Bus donation collection event with the Peoria Rivermen players at the Kroger located at 9219 Lindbergh Dr. in Peoria from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be an appearance by the President’s Cup at this event.
- November 9: 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 12: Ghostbusters Central Illinois “Stuff-an-Ecto” event at the Kroger store in East Peoria from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- November 16: Calendar Day – The public can receive a free 2023 Peoria Historical Calendar in exchange for a donation of non-perishable food at the CityLink Transit Center or Administrative offices from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- November 18: The 9th Annual Day of Stuffing will take place at the Kroger Store located at 801 W. Lake Ave in Peoria from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 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 event.
- November 19: Stuff-A-Bus donation collection event with the Peoria Police Department at the Kroger located at 801 W. Lake Ave. in Peoria from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- November 19: Stuff-A-Bus Game with the Peoria Mustangs. Fans who bring a donation of non-perishable food to the game will receive free entry to the game and a special giveaway item courtesy of CityLink. One donation is required per person for free entry. Game time is at 6:30 p.m. and the game is played at Owens Center.
- November 23/25: Stuff-A-Bus Nights at the Peoria Rivermen at the game on November 23 against the Evansville Thunderbolts and the game on November 25 against the Quad City Storm. Fans who bring a donation of non-perishable food to the games will receive a raffle ticket to win a signed authentic PEANUTS Charlie Brown 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.
- November 30: 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. 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.