Youth Council not doing food baskets

Jeanette Brickner

Those looking for a free food basket from the East Peoria Youth Council will have to look elsewhere this year.

Each year near the holidays, the Youth Council distributed food baskets to needy families in East Peoria, but they are not doing so this year.

“Really it’s been a lack of need in the community. What we were originally created for has been taken over by other groups,” Youth Council President Megan Minner said. “The food baskets were our major event and last year only about 60 baskets were requested and about 20 people didn’t show up to get them. We figured it wasn’t worth the 100-plus man hours.”

At its height about 10 years ago, Minner said there would be request for up to 200 food baskets.

Minner said the need for the Youth Council’s services has been dwindling over the years.

“There are several other programs that have stepped up to the plate. It was actually very shocking to us. With the economic downturn a few years ago, we expected our numbers to increase, but they started to steadily decrease,” Minner said. “I think it’s just the different variety of government programs that have stepped in.”

Currently the Youth Council has eight members, Minner said. They meet once a month.