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Neighborhood House Celebrates 120 Years by Expanding Meal Programs By Roberta English Simpson

neighborhood_house_logoNeighborhood House Celebrates 120 Years by Expanding Meal Programs

By Roberta English Simpson

 

Neighborhood House 237Throughout 2016 Neighborhood House will host monthly events and fundraisers to celebrate its 120th anniversary.

“We want to honor all the families, staff and volunteers who gave of themselves to build Neighborhood House into a vital part of the Greater Peoria community,” said Becky Rossman, current President and CEO.

“The south side nonprofit has come a long way from a humble beginning. Historical records say the first community outreach program was a fret wood sawing workshop for “a group of disorderly boys.” Today Neighborhood House boasts more than 30 programs serving infants through the elderly.

 

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Fighting hunger is part of the Neighborhood House mission, from soup kitchens during economic downturns to pantries and feeding programs today. The largest program is Meals on Wheels, which serves lunch to 700 homebound seniors Monday through Friday. The Meals on Wheels drivers deliver to homes in the City of Peoria, Rural Peoria and Tazewell County, as well as 8 congregate sites where seniors can dine together. Last year over 179,000 senior meals were served.

Over the years staff often fed children who wandered into the building hungry over the summers. To combat summer hunger, Neighborhood House started a Summer Meals open site in 2014 where any child 18 and under could come eat for free. After two successful summers where thousands of meals were served, staff decided to answer the call to deal with year-round hunger. The After School Meals program began in September 2015. Children can come to Neighborhood House after school eat and take part in tutoring, activities and homework help.

Neighborhood House 260Neighborhood House doesn’t just meet hunger needs during the week. It is the only place in town where the hungry can get a hot meal on Sundays. With the help of 13 local churches who provide the food and volunteers, hungry people can eat at Neighborhood House at 12:15 each week.

Like many other local non-profits, Neighborhood House programs face threats because of looming state and federal budget cuts. Rossman says she’s hoping that focusing on 120 years of good work will educate more people about Neighborhood House and boost private and corporate donations for the coming years.

Join the 120 Campaign

Neighborhood House 139 (1)Help the House!!  For 120 years Neighborhood House has served the needs of families in our community, providing programs for children through the elderly. We want 120 businesses, groups, individuals, or schools to donate $1000 to our anniversary campaign. 

We need your help.  You can make the difference.

120 Campaign

Neighborhood House

1020 Matthew Street

Peoria, IL, 61605