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Extension Snapshots

What I Do and Why It Matters - Irene Edwards

Irene Edwards teaching a boy and a girl to use a grater

Irene Edwards

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program  Instructor

 “I deliver programming on a level that youth and other audiences can engage, understand, and participate in an exciting and fun setting. We promote eating fresh produce, being wise consumers, and having a healthy mind, body, and environment.”

Since 1999, Irene has been a part of the U of I Extension team. Her work is focused in Peoria County.


Throughout Irene’s entire career with U of I Extension she has partnered with Common Place in Peoria. She has been a consistent mentor and educator to the youth and adults who came through the doors at Common Place. Over the years she taught nutrition education, food preparation lessons, and shopping/budgeting skills. The food pantry and youth gardening project also benefited from Irene’s work.

“I would be at Common Place 3 or 4 times every week,” Irene stated. “I tried to be a blessing to them but they always blessed me.”

FAVORITE EFNEP RECIPE:  Hamburger Vegetable Soup


1 pound (more or less) ground beef                       ½ teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons chopped onion                                3 ½ cups tomato juice

1 (15 oz.) can mixed vegetables & liquid                2 cups beef broth

Pepper, if desired


  1. Cook ground beef. Drain accumulated fat.
  2. Add beef broth, tomato juice, and salt.
  3. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4.  Add canned vegetables and liquid.
  5. Adjust seasoning to suit taste, and simmer for additional 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with crackers.


  • Proctor Center
  • Bethel Missionary
  • Manna From Heaven Food Pantry
  • Kitty’s Korner
  • New Testament Church
  • Mickey’s Kiddy Corner
  • Dream Center
  • Salvation Army




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