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Peoria Grown Expanding South Side Outreach With 'Wellness & Nutrition Hub'

Clients buy fresh produce from Market 309 in the Logan Recreation Center.
Peoria Grown
Clients buy fresh produce from Market 309 in the Logan Recreation Center.

Peoria Grown sells fresh produce at cost at Market 309, set up at Logan Recreation Center in Peoria's South Side. Now, that mission is expanding to include a new Wellness and Nutrition Hub.

Founder and Executive Director Julie Eliathamby said a community needs assessment shows many in the 61605 ZIP code want more information about controlling obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

"Families were having a hard time deciphering what to do. So if we can bring that to the community, where it's easy for them to come to us, and then we get the experts down there to conduct classes about this information, that would tie into what our mission is: the educational component," Eliathamby said. 

The Wellness Hub will offer a healthy lifestyles class, and a class on managing high blood pressure or cholesterol. It launches next week.

Eliathamby said Peoria Grown hopes to link access to affordable healthy foods to education.

"We knew that in order to make changes, especially with wellness and nutrition, we had to tie that with the education side of it. The families all wanted that," she said. 

That mission is getting a boost from a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois to address food insecurity. 

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Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.