who we are

Mission

Peoria Grown believes in two fundamental principles:

1. Everyone should have access to affordable, healthy food

2. Education is the key to helping individuals be self-sufficient and improve community wellness.

Peoria Grown’s mission is to address food insecurity issues through improved coordination of resources; access to affordable, healthy food with an emphasis on fresh produce; and education on nutrition and making healthy food choices. Our goal is to support existing efforts by partnering with Peoria’s food banks, pantries, community gardens and grocery stores to provide solutions to these challenges.

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History

 

Peoria Grown was founded in 2018 as part of Senator Weaver’s community leadership initiative. Our team decided to address the ever-growing issue of food insecurity in the Peoria area. We began by researching our community to determine what were the biggest issues facing food insecure individuals. After about a year of working within the community, we identified dietary education and access to fresh produce, as the two main issues not being addressed in areas identified as food deserts. We also discovered that there was an opportunity for increased coordination and partnering among existing resources.

 

We have learned that people who are food insecure are likely to face major health issues, and are often unsure of how exactly diet affects their health. Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, dental issues and more can be greatly affected and controlled by diet. We also discovered that there is a misconception that healthy food should take a backseat whenever people are in need or when there is an emergency. Healthy food does not have to be more expensive, and it builds good habits that disrupt the cycle of food insecurity that plagues our community. Peoria Grown would like to make a difference in how emergency food is provided to our community, particularly for children who are forming lifelong eating habits.

Meet Our Team

Julie Eliathamby

Founder and Executive Director

Abby Green

Board Member and Strategic Marketing Officer

Frannie Heine 

Board Member 

Blanca Miller

Board Member and Volunteer Director

Sydney Peters

Nutrition Officer

Dietitian Team 

Karen Bevers

Lindsay Goben

Carly Klaus

Angela Lollock

Ashley Mathewson

Karen Mischler

education

Teaching how to prepare healthy meals and make nutritious choices

access

Partnering with local food suppliers to provide access to fresh produce

Health

Our first priority is improving the health of our community