Even before the global COVID-19 pandemic the local chapter of Blessings in a Backpack had worked out a deal with First Presbyterian Church in Galesburg to stock-up on food. Blessings in a Backpack is a national program spearheaded locally by Knox College that provides food for school children for days when they are not in school. The food is provided through a partnership with HyVee on East Main in Galesburg with help from volunteers from the Galesburg Noon Lions Club. After COVID-19 restrictions shut down college campuses, getting college volunteers to help fill bags each week became a problem. Joel Estes is Chair of Educational Studies at Knox and an advisor for Blessings in a Backpack. “We had found out about what Laun and the United Way were doing in cooperation with the school district,” Estes said. “We had made a donation to them earlier in the spring when all of this sort of shook loose. Then we’ve seen an additional opportunity for us in the project they’re doing. But yeah, we’ve got hungry kids in our community and certainly this situation just accentuates that.” After already delivering a lot of soon-to-be perished food to United Way of Knox County, Blessings is making another delivery on Saturday, May 23rd: to the tune of $10,000 worth of food to United Way. The United Way of Knox County began distributing lunches back in March. Right now they are delivering 1,000 meals per day. Through a partnership with Noon Lions, the VNA Community Services, and the United Way, food will be packed, delivered, and stored to keep the program running throughout the shutdown.