Mid-size American cities like Peoria face some of the nation’s deepest challenges with poverty, health and a lack of investment.

A new initiative hopes to tackle some of those problems, thanks to a grant from the Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The “Invest Health” initiative was established to launch projects focused on urban revitalization, healthier food options, school attendance, and economic opportunities, the Peoria City/County Health Department said in a news release.

Peoria was selected from 170 communities nationwide that applied to the initiative, the Health Department said.

Peoria’s “Invest Health” team is made up of representatives from the Health Department, Community Development, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria Public Schools, and Illinois Central College.

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by Cass Herrington