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35th Annual Stuff-A-Bus Food Drive Wraps Up with Record 12.47 Tons of Donations Collected

The 35th Annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive to benefit the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service officially wrapped up on Wednesday, November 30.  The campaign began on October 28 and concluded with a press conference at the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service to announce the total weight of the food collected during the campaign, immediately followed by the Peoria Rivermen and Peoria Mustangs players and other volunteers unloading the bus of the donations collected.

The total weight of the food collected on the bus during the campaign was 22,000 pounds or 11 tons.  Excess donations that were unable to fit on the bus were loaded onto CityLink support vehicles. 1,360 pounds of donations were loaded onto a CityLink van, and an additional 1,582 pounds were loaded onto a CityLink heavy-duty truck.  The total weight of donations collected during this year’s Stuff-A-Bus food drive totaled 24,942 pounds or 12.47 tons.  This is a record collection for the Stuff-A-Bus food drive.  The previous record was recorded in 2008 with 11.8 tons collected.

“We are overjoyed that a total of 12.47 tons of food were collected on the vintage CityLink bus and additional CityLink support vehicles during the 35th Annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive.  It is obvious from this record achievement of donations collected that the food drive would not be a success without the generosity and support we receive from the local community.  These donations are a blessing to the families we serve and will keep our food pantry filled for the next several months”

Marcellus Sommerville, President and CEO of Peoria Friendship House.

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.

In addition to Kroger, Cumulus Radio, WYZZ Fox 43, WMBD CBS 31 and CIPROUD.com were media partners in this food drive.  The Amalgamated Transit Union Local #416 is also a long-time participating sponsor of Stuff-A-Bus.

Other organizations and businesses that volunteered their time, resources and/or collected food include:

Ag-Land FS; Amalgamated Transit Union Local #416; B20 Club in Illinois; Central Illinois Ghostbusters; CityLink administrative staff; City of West Peoria administrative staff and residents; Cumulus Radio staff and listeners; First Baptist Church of Peoria; GateWay at River City residents and staff; GFL Environmental; Independence Village Senior Living residents and staff; Jones Bros. Jewelers; Lutheran Hillside Village residents and staff; OneFire Media/Peoria Next Innovation Center; Peoria Chiefs; Peoria Fire Department; Peoria Police Department; Peoria Production Solutions; Proctor Place Senior Living residents and staff; Peoria District 150 Schools: C.T. Vivian Primary School, Hines Primary School, Liberty Leadership Middle School, Lincoln K-8 School, Manual High School and Trewyn K-8 School; Peoria Heights Grade School; Peoria Mustangs; Peoria Riverfront Museum; Peoria Rivermen; River City Construction; Tazewell County Resource Center; Transdev staff (CityLift and CountyLink); Wilder-Waite Elementary School; and WMBD/WYZZ staff and viewers.

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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