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TCRC food cart in downtown Peoria gives special needs adults job skills training

There’s a new food cart in downtown Peoria for lunch-goers. The pork brisket nachos and burgers are doing more than filling up peoples’ stomachs. They’re helping people with developmental disabilities get a shot at independence.

The Tazewell County Resource Center (TCRC) is expanding their food services and catering program to include the food cart on Adams St. across from the old Caterpillar HQ.

The TCRC employs people like Ray Thurston, so they can learn real job skills, customer service, and independence.

“I’m happy to the money, I’m happy that I enjoy working with people,” said Thurston, “I’m proud things are going good for me and I’m very happy here.”

Thurston said he’s glad to be making some money, and TCRC said the program helps fund their services, so they don’t have to rely on state funding.

They currently employ about 20-25 people. Since the program started in 2012, they’ve employed about 70 people.

TCRC said if the food cart goes well they might consider upgrading to a food truck.

Molly Jirasek

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