Jacksonville residents in need of healthy food will have their chance to get some at a special event coming up in two weeks. Healthy Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Rotary Club are again partnering to present a free Healthy Foods Distribution at 6 p.m. On Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Lincoln Elementary School.
Andrea Phelps, Community Health Coordinator for Healthy Jacksonville at Passavant Area Hospital, said that the food distribution will give area residents the option to eat healthy foods that they may not otherwise be able to purchase.
“The distribution is going to be very similar to the one we held this past spring. It is going to be at Lincoln elementary school and is set to start at 6:00 pm. But we are going to encourage people to get there early because there probably will be a line. And we just ask people to bring a basket or a wagon or a cart to be able to put their stuff in, because we are going to have a lot of food there from fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, possibly even some meat and milk, things like that, to be able to get some healthy food and get some choices that they might not regularly see at the store or the food pantry or Salvation Army.”
Phelps says that anyone who needs some healthy food can attend. “Absolutely anyone can attend. When they come through the line, there will be a check in table, but it is simply just to get some information for the Central Illinois Food Bank, their address and how many people live in their household. But there are no restrictions, anybody is welcome and you don’t even have to live in Jacksonville. I know last time we met with some families that came from some towns pretty far away, so anyone is welcome.”
Participants are encouraged again to bring sturdy food containers like cardboard boxes or a wagon to haul food items. The distribution will go on rain or shine. Phelps encourages people to bring an umbrella just in case.
In addition, many local social service providers will set up booths to distribute information and talk with participants. The project is made possible by a $3,200 grant from the Passavant Area Hospital Healthy Jacksonville program. Volunteers from Passavant Area Hospital, Healthy Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Rotary Club, Illinois College Rotaract Club, Jacksonville Interact Club and Nestle will work the event to assist families as they select groceries and participate in the other activities.