Peoria, IL,
14:22 PM

Ice Pop Partnership to Benefit Hospitalized Kids

Hy-Vee, Inc., in conjunction with The Jel Sert Company, and the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) has announced a new partnership with 10 children’s hospitals throughout the Midwest, including OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, to bring unlimited flavored ice pops to hospitalized children.

The partnership with Hy-Vee further expands Jel Sert and the ACCO’s “Take a Pop, Share a Smile” program for hospitalized children. The national food and beverage manufacturer is donating freezers and ice pops to the hospitals and providing ongoing refills and service. To date, Jel Sert has placed freezers in more than 140 facilities across the country, providing more than 1 million treats for hospitalized kids.

Members of the HyVee team delivered the first frozen treats to kids at OSF Children's Hospital on June 25.

Eric Gharst (*pronounced Garst*), store manager of the HyVee at The Shoppes at Grand Prairie in Peoria says being a part of this is directly related to HyVee's mission of making lives easier, happier, and healthier.

"They’re members of our community, they’re our children, they’re our friends. We’re just doing the right thing being a part of the community, just doing a little bit to give back and live up to that mission statement."

HyVee - Eric Gharst
HyVee Ice Pops Broll

Children's Hospital of Illinois, located in Peoria, is the third largest pediatric hospital in Illinois and the only full service tertiary hospital for kids downstate. With 136 beds and more than 141 pediatric subspecialists, Children's Hospital of Illinois cares for more children in Illinois than any hospital outside of Chicago. Formally established as a pediatric hospital within the walls of OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in 1990, Children's Hospital of Illinois has over 7,000 admissions, 2,500 newborn deliveries, and 18,000 emergency department visits each year. More at

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 245 retail stores across eight Midwestern states with sales of $10 billion annually. The supermarket chain is synonymous with quality, variety, convenience, healthy lifestyles, culinary expertise and superior customer service. Hy-Vee ranks in the Top 10 Most Trusted Brands and has been named one of America’s Top 5 favorite grocery stores. The company’s more than 80,000 employees provide “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle” to customers every day. For additional information, visit

The Jel Sert Company is a family owned business that's been at the forefront of innovation in the food and beverage industry since 1926. For nearly a century, generations of families have enjoyed Jel Sert's products, which include dessert mixes, drink mixes, ready to drink beverages and freezer bars. The Jel Sert Company’s products are exclusively made in West Chicago, Illinois, with over 1,000 employees sharing the company's passion for creating high quality, high value products. For more information, visit