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Food Pantry Network – HOI launches BEAT THE HEAT campaign

water bottles with blue caps

PEORIA, Ill. - Help Central Illinois BEAT THE HEAT this summer with Food Pantry Network – Heart of Illinois (HOI)’s BEAT THE HEAT campaign! The goal of BEAT THE HEAT is to collect donations of needed summer supplies to provide food pantry guests with the items they need to keep themselves safe and healthy throughout the summer. 

Temperatures can get dangerously high in Central Illinois during the summer months, and this poses serious health risks to those exposed to extreme heat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,220 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. According to American Red Cross, that makes extreme heat more deadly than any other weather event.  

Summer supplies can be crucial to help prevent illness and other health problems caused by extreme heat, but they can also be costly, making it difficult for families in need to purchase these items. That’s where Food Pantry Network – HOI’s BEAT THE HEAT campaign can help! 

“Many of our pantries have expressed that summertime is often the season that they have some of the greatest need and the lowest number of donations from the community,” said Rebecca Crumrine, University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed educator. “By hosting a BEAT THE HEAT donation drive, you can help boost donations to the pantry and help the food pantry guests have access to supplies they need to protect themselves from extreme heat.”

By increasing access to summer supplies, the BEAT THE HEAT campaign seeks to give families in need one less thing to worry about when considering their finances. The hope is that by distributing donated supplies to food pantry guests, the choice between paying bills and keeping loved ones safe and healthy during bouts of extreme heat can be eliminated. 

“Food pantries do more than just provide food to families in need,” Crumrine said. “This campaign serves as a part of the comprehensive approach of Food Pantry Network – HOI to help increase the wellness of the families we serve through any number of avenues. By our local pantries being able to provide diverse types of goods and services to guests, we can help set them on the path to overall wellness.”

During the month of June, you can contribute to the BEAT THE HEAT campaign by buying a bag like a tote, drawstring or backpack; filling it with summer supplies like water, sports drinks, hats, sunglasses, chapstick/lip balm, bug spray, itch relief cream/sticks, etc; and donating your kit to a local pantry. Visit the Find Food IL Community Food Map at to find details about food pantries near you. 


  • Step 1: Buy a bag of your choice like a tote bag, drawstring, backpack, etc. 
  • Step 2: Fill your bag with summer supplies.  
  • Water 
  • Sports Drinks 
  • Hats 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Chapstick/Lip Balm 
  • Bug Spray 
  • Itch Relief Cream/Sticks 
  • Step 3: Donate your BEAT THE HEAT kit by dropping it off at your local food pantry!  

Visit the Find Food IL Community Food Map at to find details about food pantries near you. Reach out to Rebecca Crumrine, if you are interested in hosting a BEAT THE HEAT drive. 

The mission of the Food Pantry Network - HOI (Heart of Illinois) is to support, connect and provide resources to those working within the charitable food system. This network of community partners strives to help alleviate hunger and build a healthier community. If you are a pantry or food bank in our area, please join us on our private Facebook group called Food Pantry Network-HOI. 

Please contact Rebecca Crumrine, University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed Educator, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, at or 309-685-3140 for additional information. 


Image by Hans from Pixabay

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.