Tazewell County news briefs

To fight food insecurity for residents, Tazewell County Extension nutrition and education staff are teaching those getting assistance from food pantries to better understand nutrition and strategies to buy healthy food on a budget. (Photo courtesy of U of Illinois Extension)



Yard waste disposal service available to residents only

Free yard waste disposal is available at Sewage Treatment Plant #2, 2625 S. Fourth (at the corner of S. Fourth and Broadway Road, is available daily now through Sunday, Dec. 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The service will be closed only for the Thanksgiving holiday, on Thursday and Friday, Nov 28 and 29.

Verification of name and address is required.

The program is “self-serve” as it has been in the past.  A fenced area at STP#2 will be designated for yard waste disposal.  Assistance will not be provided for removal or dumping of landscape waste, so please plan accordingly.

The following regulations and limitations must be met:

  • Only leaves, grass clippings, and tree branches (no greater than 5′ in length or 4″ in diameter), and any associated landscape waste will be accepted.
  • No paper or plastic bags will be allowed for disposal.
  • Neither landscaping timber (railroad ties) nor construction lumber is allowed.
  • No commercial enterprise may deposit landscape waste at this site.
  • “Root mass” from trees, bushes, or shrubbery is not allowed.
  • No pet waste, household garbage or plant containers of any kind at this site.
  • No yard waste is to be left outside the designated fenced area.
  • Video surveillance will take place during the program.

Residents are asked to follow, or help the village to police these rules to ensure the continued operation of this free yard waste disposal program for all citizens of Morton.

Remember that it is a violation of Village ordinances to deposit landscape and yard waste on Village property (in the streets, in Prairie and Bull Run Creeks, down storm sewers, etc.), and that open burning of landscape waste or any kind of garbage is prohibited within the Village limits.


Kiwanis to award best residential holiday decorations

The Morton Kiwanis Club, in partnership with the Morton High School Key Club, is accepting nominations for homes to be considered for the 2019 Home Decorating Contest.

Judging will take place on the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 17 and prizes will be awarded that evening or at a later date for Best Traditional Home, Best “Griswold” Home, and Best Themed Home.

Those interested in being considered are encouraged to call the Morton Chamber at 309-263-2491 or complete the online form available on the Kiwanis Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mortonkiwanis. Homeowners that have won in the past will not be eligible for this year’s prizes.

The Morton Kiwanis Club is a local chapter of Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. The organization meets the first Tuesday of the month at noon at Kemp 208, 208 Main St. To learn more about Kiwanis, contact Nancy at 309-467-4750 and tnt39@mtco.com.


Dinner serves as fundraiser for Community Claus Project

There will be a fundraiser dinner for the Community Claus Project from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21 at St. John’s Faith Fellowship Hal, 302 N. Maple Ave., Minier.

The dinner will include spaghetti, bread, lettuce salad, dessert, and drink.  Carry-out dinners will be available.

The meal will be served prior to the National Reading Night event held across the street at the Olympia West Elementary School.

Each person who donates cleaning supplies, non-perishable food item, wrapping paper, or toys that evening for the Community Claus will be entered in a drawing for some donated door prizes.

Community Claus which was founded in 2003 is a cooperative project between various businesses, individuals, civic groups and area churches who work together to provide Christmas gifts and support for needy families in the Minier and Armington areas. For questions, call 309-392-2442


 Extension staff help address food insecurity in the county

For almost four years, University of Illinois Extension in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit has extended the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to reach not only Peoria but also Tazewell County to help address food insecurity and associated health issues that may arise from it.

EFNEP staff teach citizens at food pantries and local organizations to help them better understand nutrition and strategies to buy healthy food on a budget.

Statistics show food insecurity in Tazewell County to be 9.7 percent for adults and 15.5 percent for children. The latest population count for Tazewell County was 132,328, which would equate to 12,836 adults and 20,511 children being food insecure. The definition of food insecurity is not having access or availability to proper food. The root cause of most food insecurity is poverty.

To meet this growing need, more than 40 food pantries now exist in Peoria and Tazewell counties. One public misconception of people using food pantries is that they do not work. Many people who use food pantries are employed; of those who don’t work, many are elderly or disabled.

Why then, can people not afford food? One major reason is that food can be expensive and many jobs do not pay well. Often people living in poverty live in food deserts, where healthy food access is not available within proximity. Lack of healthy food leads to chronic health problems such as diabetes and obesity. People who live in food-insecure areas have twice the rate of type 2 diabetes as other people. Children, the elderly, and ethnic minorities are the groups most affected by food insecurity.

Cheryl Russell, EFNEP instructor, currently serves the following programs teaching nutrition education in Tazewell County:

  • Hope Chest Food Pantry, Pekin
  • Calvary Baptist Food Pantry, Pekin
  • Liberty Baptist Food Pantry, Pekin
  • Illinois Department of Human Services, Pekin
  • Housing Authority, Pekin and Washington
  • Rogy’s Childcare, Pekin

The latest EFNEP program impact data (2018) shows the following positive impacts related to food insecurity:

  • 96 percent of participants showed improvement in eating healthier foods such as more fruits and vegetables
  • 52 percent showed improvement in one or more food security indicators such as having enough money for food
  • 78 percent improved in one or more food resource management practices such as planning meals before shopping, making a shopping list, and cooking more dinners at home.

For more information contact Margaret Cover, Extension EFNEP educator, at 309-685-3140 or mcover@illinois.edu. Learn more about the wide range of programs offered through University of Illinois Extension at https://extension.illinois.edu/fmpt