To end hunger by transporting surplus food to local food agencies for free distribution to those in need. Heart of Illinois Harvest is a not-for profit food rescue program that daily transports food to local food agencies and pantries for free distribution to those in need. Grants, donations and in-kind services allow HOI to maintain our two vehicles and one part-time employee.
2019 marks the 27th anniversary of Heart of Illinois Harvest serving central Illinois. Founded in 1992 as the first of its kind in Illinois, Harvest is a not-for-profit food rescue program which serves the Tri-County Area. The original idea came from four Rotarians: Hobe Albright, Robert Baietto, William Lervaag and Gene Slevin.
Heart of Illinois Harvest is powered by over 57 volunteers, its board of directors, in-kind service providers and one part- time program coordinator. We operate with two vehicles, and in 2018, thanks to generous donations and grants, we were able to purchase a new van and box truck.
Our vehicles are on the road six days a week and are vital to our mission. With the newer vehicles, HOI Harvest is able
to safely and conveniently continue to transport donated food to local food pantries and feeding agencies, ensuring that good usable food will go to the people who need it most and not into the landfills.
Local grocery stores, schools, bakeries and distribution centers donate food they don’t need to HOI Harvest. Harvest volunteers pick up the food and transport it to our recipients, all free of charge. We do not have a warehouse, so everything that is picked up is delivered that same day.
Six days a week, HOI Harvest transports surplus food, at no cost, to 72 local agencies for free distribution to those in need. Harvest is currently transporting 7.5 tons of food a week to local rescue agencies, family agencies, shelters and food pantries. Our commitment to eliminate waste of much-needed food helps many organizations lower their food budgets, allowing them to fund additional services.
How to Help
Heart of Illinois Harvest needs people who want to make a difference in our community:
Be a volunteer. Three volunteers ride in our truck six days a week during the mornings (CDL license not required). In addition, other volunteers use their own vehicles to transport donated food when there are special requests for food pick-ups.
Organize a food drive. HOI Harvest will transport the collected non-perishable food products to our local agencies for distribution.
Make a monetary donation. With rising demand and increased delivery areas, financial assistance is critical to our existence. Donations help fund gasoline, insurance and maintenance costs for our vehicles. We do not receive state funding; we do not receive United Way funding. We are completely funded by personal donations from the public and grant funds.
Heart of Illinois Harvest
PO Box 9702
Peoria, IL 61612