Prairieland United Way Food Drive Aims to Feed Children During Summer Break

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 14, 2023 at 11:23am

An area non-profit is working to help ensure kids are fed after the school year ends. The Prairieland United Way is kicking off its Live United Food Drive this week. The event encourages community members to donate food for kids. This year’s drive begins in April and continues through May 26, 2023.

Executive Director Karen Walker said in the kickoff announcement that when school is out, hunger is not. Walker says the Prairieland United Way wants to do all it can to make sure kids have food this summer once school lunches are no longer available to them.

Walker is encouraging anyone in the public who can help, to participate. Food will be collected over the next six weeks and then be distributed at a free community event at Summerfest, in conjunction with Jacksonville Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Jacksonville Food Resource Group on June 14th from 4 to 6 pm in Community Park.

The event will include food distribution and a resource fair for youth. It will feature free new summer clothes and flip flops for kids, a food truck, a bounce house, a Ferris wheel, games, and information about summer activities for kids. Anyone interested in volunteering, call 217-245-4557 to sign up.

Participants may donate any nonperishable foods, items most needed include Juice/Gatorade, Canned Chicken, Fruit, Jell-O or Pudding Cups, Canned Soups, Ramen Noodles, Canned Pasta & Meat, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Breakfast Cereal, Mac & Cheese Cups, and Oatmeal.

Several drop-off locations are available, including CNB Bank & Trust at 1211 W Morton Ave., The Farmers State Bank and Trust Company at 200 West State & 1718 W. Morton Ave., First National Bank at 1904 S. Main & 1839 W. Morton Ave., and Petefish, Skiles & Co. Bank at 1342 S. Main St.

For more information, contact Executive Director Karen Walker at 217-245-4557 or stop by the office located at the Jacksonville Municipal Building, 200 W. Douglas Avenue in Jacksonville.