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The Blessings in a Backpack program takes the simple idea of providing daily food for a child's well-being and makes this concept a reality for elementary school students in Galesburg who don't always have enough to eat.
Starting in 2010, a group of Knox College students took the initiative to bring Blessings in a Backpack to Galesburg. Finding support in the community, students at Knox were able to partner with First Presbyterian Church and Galesburg CUSD #205 to bring this program to life during the 2011-2012 school year.
In the past year, the number of Galesburg kids served by Blessings in a Backpack has ballooned to 460 elementary students. Thanks to a deluge of assistance from the Galesburg community, we have been able to serve students in all five of Galesburg's public elementary schools: Gale, King, Nielson, Steele, and Silas Willard Elementary Schools. In collaboration with our college group, the East Main Hy-Vee grocery store, the Galesburg Lion's Club, and First Presbyterian Church have become strong partners in the fight against hunger. Annually, club members and the community raise over $50,000 to support the mission. All of the money that is raised locally is used to feed hungry kids right here in Galesburg.
The Knox Blessings in a Backpack affiliate meets weekly for business and to pack backpacks for the children. We have a club enrollment of 150+ Knox College students. Notably, Knox College students donate meal swipes from their own meal plans to ensure that the kids receive fresh fruit every week. Regularly, 50+ club members make the trek from campus to First Presbyterian to pack the backpacks for "our kids". It is a journey of happiness and service.
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