We partner with community organizations to host free bi-monthly cooking classes for individuals on food assistance programs. The classes are lead by Registered Dietitians to teach healthy cooking techniques and inspire healthy grocery selections. Participants also learn how cooking can prevent and control many diseases. After each class, participants go home with recipes and a bag full of fresh groceries to make healthy meals at home.
Keep an eye on our schedule for future classes. If you would like to get involved, contact us to host or sponsor a class.
Thanks to our current class partners, Southside Community Center, Boys and Girls Club, ArtInc., Riverplex, Phoenix Community Development Services, Peoria High School North, Taft Homes, Lincoln Library, and Sterling Towers.
Farmer's market tours
We will be offering tours of the Peoria Riverfront Market led by dietitians. The tours are offered to anyone who has participated in one of our cooking classes. Dietitians will guide participants through the market and show them vendors and how to use WIC and Link cards to buy produce. The goal is to get participants comfortable with their cards and excited enough about the market to start using it regularly. Dietitians will also discuss health concerns and overcoming barriers to healthy eating.
Tours will be given every Saturday at the Peoria Riverfront Market which runs May - September.
Thank you to our current market tour partners, dietitians from OSF Hospital.
Community Fruit Stands
In effort to provide easy access to healthy foods for youth participating in programs at local community centers and non-profit agencies, we are placing handcrafted fruit stands at agencies throughout Peoria. The goal is to provide easy access to fresh fruit for program participants to be able to grab healthy snacks throughout the day at no charge. Volunteer Hedy Elliot helped us get teamed up with Big Picture and local artists who volunteer their time and considerable talents to create beautiful, eye-catching fruit stands adorned with one-of-a-kind works of art. The stands will be loaded with fresh apples, oranges, bananas, and other shelf-stable fruit. Give today to replenish a fruit stand.
Pop-Up Produce Pantry
Our pop-up produce pantry is a mobile pantry visiting various neighborhoods throughout the Peoria area. The goal of the pantry is to bring access to healthy foods to the doorsteps of people in our community who need it most and lack easy access to fresh, whole foods. It is offered once a week on Thursday evenings from 6-7pm throughout the summer months.
Locations for each week can be found on our calendar.
In the wake of the coronavirus global pandemic and school closures, many kids who had access to fresh fruits in schools suddenly had none. We saw the need and were able to quickly shift our efforts from in-person cooking classes to bagging fresh fruits. We are purchasing fruit, gathering volunteers to bag them up in gallon sized ziplocks, and delivering them to the community. We hope to continue to provide access of fresh fruit in Peoria even after kids go back to school. Certain areas of Peoria are known as food deserts, and kids living there are less likely to have access to healthy food just because of their zip code.
To be able to continue this program we will need funding. Please consider donating to help us feed the kids in Peoria.
A big thanks to Hy-Vee for letting us buy fruit at cost and use their facilities.
Fresh Produce Bags
After some successful fruit bag deliveries, we heard there was a need for produce, too. With the coronavirus lockdown, it made it even more difficult for people living in food deserts to get access to fresh produce. Since we weren't able to offer our in-person cooking classes, we decided to implement at home DIY classes. Our dietitians created 3-4 healthy recipes to accompany a bag of fresh produce that got delivered weekly. The recipes and produce are coordinated with food bank packages so that families can cook healthy meals for the week with minimal effort. Our goal is to continue supplementing food bank donations with fresh produce.
To be able to continue this program we will need funding. Please consider donating to help us provide healthy meals to families in Peoria.
Again, thank you to Hy-Vee for letting us buy fruit at cost and use their facilities.
Peoria Grown is a small, grassroots organization with no paid positions. We quickly adapt to fulfill the needs of our community. While our specific programs may be subject to change, our goal continues to be addressing food insecurity issues in our community through education and access.
Our organization relies on the work of our dedicated volunteers. They are the core of us being able to achieve our goals. We hope to continue to build our volunteer team and also develop steady streams of funding. These two key elements will allow us to continue to fill the need in our community until it is no longer needed.
Click here to get involved in growing and filling the needs in our community.