Hand Up Peoria Inc. is a 501(c)(3) committed to offering food, clothing and community resources to our peers. We recognize the need for a hand up out of the cycle of poverty. We are partnering with community agencies and applying a systematic approach to stop the generational poverty cycle.
Hand Up Peoria Inc. is committed to offering food, clothing and community resources to our peers. We see the need for a hand up and out of the cycle of poverty. We are partnering with community agencies such as the Wraparound Center to approach the problem for systemic change, and ultimately want to target generational poverty.
We start this process by ensuring that individuals and families have access to the basics they need to run a household, building relationships through provision in a non-judgmental way. Receiving services from their peers is to provide hope that change is possible, and providing resources that could help a family get ahead and connect with the additional resources within the Wraparound Center for a comprehensive and holistic approach.
Hand Up Peoria is a vibrant food pantry within the south end of Peoria, providing weekly food boxes to families regardless of their address, documentation, legal status or family status. There are two unique features that make Hand Up Peoria stand out amongst pantries: It was started by a group of individuals who have experienced poverty themselves and now provide peer-to-peer services, and the location of the pantry allows those who come for food to access additional services in the same location.
Additional services that have been added since the inception of Hand Up Peoria in July 2018 include health education with Bradley University nursing students, nutrition classes with University of Illinois Extension, financial education through the Money and Me curriculum, and open pantry days with activities and resources with Delta Sigma Theta Peoria Alumnae Chapter. The Wraparound Center is also home to 11 additional service providers that are available for anyone to access for a variety of needs to serve a family holistically.
There are no specific individuals served by Hand Up Peoria Inc. Services and food are provided to anyone, regardless of reason or demographics. Some of those served include individuals, families, students who are attending Peoria Public Schools, consumers receiving services from the Wraparound Center, and agency staff members for the clients whom they serve. Participation in weekly services can average from 45 to 90 households each given week with roughly 50 pounds of food distributed.
Our partners in this work making all of this possible on a weekly basis include OSF Strive, Peoria Public Schools, Wraparound Center Peoria, Panera Bread Dough-nation Program, Lowe’s, Heart of Illinois Harvest, Peoria Area Food Bank, Midwest Food Bank, and most importantly, our generous donors and volunteers.
How to Help
Pantry services are provided to the community on Thursday mornings from 10am until noon. Volunteers are needed during this time to help with family sign-in, traffic flow, and adding perishable items to pre-packed boxes. Contact Pam Wiley at (309) 222-6377 to learn about additional opportunities throughout the week including pantry box packing, unloading food deliveries and light office work.
Pam Wiley, Co-Founder and Director
Maria Best, Co-Founder
Nicole Livsey, Co-Founder
Doretha Jamison, Co-Founder