PEKIN, Ill. - One in ten of our neighbors in Illinois struggle with hunger every day, according to Feeding America. September is deemed as Hunger Action Month® (HAM) by Feeding America in effort to mobilize action around hunger nationally. In an effort to bring recognition and awareness to the issue of hunger and food insecurity in our local communities, Food Pantry Network – HOI (Heart of Illinois) is recognizing September as Hunger Action Month. Join the online event, invite friends, and share posts by visiting go.illinois.edu/HAM2021.
“Making nutritious choices can be very difficult for families who are hungry, especially when struggling financially,” explained Kaitlyn Streitmatter, University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed educator and Food Pantry Network – HOI co-lead.
Fresh food drives will be held throughout the communities of Peoria and Pekin to increase healthier food options at local pantries. Take action and donate fresh uncut produce to support Hunger Action Month at one of the following fresh food drive locations, during each location’s regular operating hours:
Wednesday, September 8:
- Tazewell County Health Department
- Select branches of Peoria Public Libraries: Main Library, Lakeview Branch, McClure Branch, North Branch
Thursday, September 9:
- Select branches of Peoria Public Libraries: Main Library, McClure Branch, North Branch, Lincoln Branch
Friday, September 10:
- All branches of Peoria Public Libraries
Friday, September 17:
- Peoria City/County Health Department
Friday, September 24 through Thursday, September 30:
- Parkside Fitness -Pekin Park District
“Fresh food drives are a great opportunity to educate the public on the need for produce and healthy food options at our local food pantries. We help partnering organizations in hosting fresh food drives and matching those fresh foods to local pantries,” explained Shanita Wallace, Tazewell County Health Department health educator and Food Pantry Network- HOI co-lead.
Organizers share additional ideas how to take action locally at extension.illinois.edu/fmpt/foodpantry. Other ways to take action during Hunger Action Month are connect with your local food pantry and find out how you can get involved.
September 17 is Hunger Action Day. Everyone is encouraged to wear orange that day to show their support for this cause. And let others know why you are wearing orange. Throughout the month be encouraged to take photos of how you are showing your support and share online using the hashtag #HungerActionMonth.
The mission of the Food Pantry Network - HOI is to support, connect, and provide resources to those working within the emergency 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 online at www.facebook.com/groups/foodpantrynetworkhoi or reach out to Kaitlyn Streitmatter, email@example.com, to be added to the group’s email list.
Those interested in hosting a food drive can contact Shanita Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org to get those plans started.
SOURCE: Kaitlyn Streitmatter, SNAP-Education Extension Educator, University of Illinois Extension, email@example.com
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