Upcoming blood donation opportunities
The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood or platelets during National Volunteer Month this April. Eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – are needed to help ensure blood products are available for patients this spring.
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions, and the Red Cross salutes the volunteer blood and platelet donors who help fulfill its lifesaving mission.
While donors of all blood types are needed, the Red Cross currently has a severe shortage of type O blood donations and urges type O donors to give now.
Historic Art Inspired by Local History
The exhibit features artwork from the Peoria Historical Society’s collection as well as collection artifacts.
Peoria Historical Society’ is pleased to display several works by well-known Peoria painters such as Hedley Waycott and William Hardin.
Embellishing the art will be select artifacts that connect in some way to the art on display. The exhibit will open at the Peoria Public Library, 107 NE Monroe St, Main Library Gallery
Friday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 29
Volunteers team up to combat food insecurity
Having easy access to healthy foods is not always an option for some residents in Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties.
Staff and volunteers at the University of Illinois Extension are working together to provide healthy foods and education about preparing those foods to people in areas considered food insecure.
According to the USDA, food insecure is defined as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life and uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.”
This is a growing issue in the community as 12-15% of those in our four counties experience food insecurity (Feeding America).
U of I Extension Master Gardeners and SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed) staff worked together to connect hunger and health by collaborating with two food pantries to deliver fresh produce weekly.
Master Gardeners and 4-H volunteers and members worked together to plant, coordinate, and harvest produce which was then donated to Mission of Hope pantry in Havana and Common Place in Peoria. Over 250 pounds of produce was donated during the 2018 harvest season.
“Food insecurity closely ties to health,” explained SNAP-Ed Educator Kaitlyn Streitmatter. “Research shows us those who are food insecure have a higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, and various other health problems.”
This issue is especially pertinent as food insecure individuals use food pantries as a source for emergency food. Commonly found foods in pantries are high in sodium and added sugars which only exacerbate the challenge to manage one’s health when food insecure.
Extension SNAP-Ed staff worked with both pantries to create a more healthful food environment. The process started with an environmental assessment in which SNAP-Ed and pantry staff determined the needs of each pantry.
Over the course of the summer, seasonal recipes were provided to the pantry, healthful messaging was implemented, and other food safety policies were put into place. Havana’s Mission of Hope went from an assessment score of 9 to an assessment score of 24.
The pantry made improvements by increasing marketing of healthful produce, providing various types of fruits and/or vegetables, and promoting additional resources for the low-income clientele.
Common Place pantry started with an assessment score of 11 and after the work with SNAP-Ed staff, they reached a score of 27.
To find out more about the University of Illinois Extension, SNAP-Ed program visit web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt.
EPA to hold household hazardous waste collections
Illinois EPA household hazardous waste collections are held to encourage residents to safely dispose of unused or leftover household products commonly found in homes.
Ten collection sites have been confirmed for the spring with an additional four locations being finalized. Details for the additional collections will be announced at a later date.
“As one of our most popular programs, these collections provide residents with the opportunity to safely and properly dispose of hazardous chemicals and potentially dangerous materials found in our homes. This program is made possible with the support and cooperation from our local partners,” said Acting Director John Kim. “Residents taking part in this program can help ensure that these hazardous products are disposed of properly to protect the environment.”
One-day collections are open to all Illinois residents and operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the above scheduled Saturdays.
Residents are encouraged to bring chemical cleaners, oil-based paints, thinners, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides, old or outdated medications, and similar hazardous household products.
Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collections. Items not accepted include latex paint, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes.
A complete list of household hazardous wastes that are and are not accepted is available online at http://www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/waste-management/waste-disposal/household-hazardous-waste/acceptable-wastes/index.
IEMA outlines steps for disaster recovery
Mother Nature does not discriminate when it comes to severe weather.
Countless residents throughout our state have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful situations, having access to personal finance, insurance, medical and other records is critical for starting the recovery process.
“As severe weather and river flooding threatens our communities, it’s important for all Illinoisans to take action now, before a disaster,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, acting director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “When a disaster strikes, your immediate focus will be on the safety of your loved ones. Building a culture of preparedness today, provides the priceless peace of mind that is needed as you begin the daunting task of rebuilding following a disaster.”
During Recovery Preparedness Month, IEMA and local emergency management officials will provide guidance to Illinois residents on how to quickly and efficiently recover from disasters such as floods, fire, earthquakes or severe weather.
Here are five simple acts that can help you recover from any disaster:
- Get Organized. Secure and organize financial and critical personal, household, and medical information. Having these items in a safe place can expedite insurance claims and other emergency expenses.
- Savings. Saving is the best financial defense against disasters. A little bit at a time can go a long way. A rainy day fund can help you invest in your family’s safety.
- Insurance. Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them.
- Inventory. Make an inventory of your possessions using photographs and/or videos of your belongings.
- Communication. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Develop a Family Communication Plan. This will outline how you will contact one another when a disaster strikes.
You can learn more about Disaster Recovery Month at www.ready.illinois.gov.
–Peoria County News Briefs–