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Annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign begins

The 30th Annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign, a food drive for the Peoria Friendship House, begins Friday at the Kroger store in Evergreen Square, 801 W. Lake Ave. in Peoria.

The goal this year is to collect 10 tons of food, which will be used to help stave off hunger in the Peoria region. Food will be collected at all Peoria Kroger stores and the East Peoria store through Nov. 27. The final tonnage will be announced Nov. 28.

CityLink has donated use of a classic CityLink bus to be stuffed with food collected at the stores.

The campaign is sponsored by CityLink, Kroger, Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service, Cumulus Radio, WYZZ Fox 43, WMBD CBS 3, and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local #416.

A news conference to officially kick off this year’s campaign is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the Kroger on West Lake Avenue.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary of Stuff-A-Bus, 30 families or individuals who use or have used the services provided by the Peoria Friendship House will be featured on the official Stuff-A-Bus Facebook page ( throughout the duration of the campaign.  The Friendship House food pantry has provided meals to about 54,000 families and individuals since January of this year.

City launches PeoriaCorps program

The City of Peoria is tackling its green infrastructure needs through a PeoriaCorps program that was launched this week.

Ten residents ages 18 to 24 were chosen by PeoriaCorps to participate in the program that will combine education, green infrastructure maintenance and job readiness. Each took the AmeriCorps pledge.

Work will be on green infrastructure solutions developed by the city’s Public Works Department for the city’s wet weather issues to minimize stormwater runoff. By focusing on learning about and maintaining green infrastructure projects throughout the city, PeoriaCorps members will, at the conclusion of the program, receive credentials in green infrastructure construction, maintenance and inspection through the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP), the city said in a news release.

Said Jamila Wilson, PeoriaCorps program director, “PeoriaCorps represents the city’s investment not only in addressing the wet weather challenges the city faces, but also the investment in young people by building a labor force for the emerging industry of green infrastructure in our region.”

The Department of Public Works will oversee the program, the funding for which is from an AmeriCorps grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service, in addition to an Apprenticeship Plus Youth grant through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Participants were selected through an interview process and had to meet the criteria of being out of school and unemployed for six months. They will receive an allowance through the grant funding.

Starting a Business workshop scheduled

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University will present a workshop, Starting a Business in Illinois, on Wednesday, Nov. 1 from 3 to-5 p.m. at the PeoriaNEXT Innovation Center, 801 W. Main St. in Peoria.

Intended for those not yet in business, the workshop covers numerous topics. They include:

  • How to get the business name registered
  • Where to get a tax ID number
  • Licenses & permits
  • What legal form to choose (proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
  • Sales taxes
  • Estimated quarterly income tax
  • Employee taxes
  • Financing your business
  • Preparing a business plan
  • Federal, State, City and County Requirements
  • Legal Structure

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Morton Community Bank and  is free to the public. However, advance registration is required.

To learn more or to register visit or call (309) 677-2992.

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).