School's out, but Barrington's Blessings in a Backpack goes on

  • Joann McNichols prepares food at Barrington High School on Wednesday for delivery to needy students through Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program.

      Joann McNichols prepares food at Barrington High School on Wednesday for delivery to needy students through Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Though schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrington Children's Charities continues to operate its Blessings in a Backpack food program.

      Though schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrington Children's Charities continues to operate its Blessings in a Backpack food program. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Lauren Delehoy, left, and Joann McNichols are surrounded at Barrington High School by bags of food prepared for delivery through Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program.

      Lauren Delehoy, left, and Joann McNichols are surrounded at Barrington High School by bags of food prepared for delivery through Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Joann McNichols and Eric Corradetti load a school bus at Barrington High School with food Thursday for delivery to families in need as part of Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program.

      Joann McNichols and Eric Corradetti load a school bus at Barrington High School with food Thursday for delivery to families in need as part of Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Lauren Delehoy wheels food for delivery Thursday through Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program.

      Lauren Delehoy wheels food for delivery Thursday through Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack program. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Lauren Delehoy prepares some of the food for delivery to families facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though schools are closed, Barrington Children's Charities is continuing its Blessings in a Backpack program, which provides food to those in need.

      Lauren Delehoy prepares some of the food for delivery to families facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though schools are closed, Barrington Children's Charities is continuing its Blessings in a Backpack program, which provides food to those in need. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/30/2020 7:08 PM

In an otherwise empty cafeteria at Barrington High School, Lauren Delehoy and her team spent Wednesday tirelessly preparing bags of food.

Though schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of hundreds of students who rely on Barrington Children's Charities' Blessings in a Backpack food program not only remain, but have increased. During the school year, students who receive free meals at school are sent home every weekend with a bag of food.

 

Now, volunteers are bringing food to the students.

Delehoy, director of food services for Quest Food Management at Barrington High, and others have spent recent weeks taking in donated food, packing it into bags and then, on Thursdays, delivering the bags to families in need.

"Our Blessings in a Backpack program expenses during this time has doubled from the current program," said Darby Hills, co-founder of Barrington Children's Charities. "We are making this investment to help local children get the food they need during this challenging time."

To help support the program, visit www.barringtonchildrenscharities.com/donate.

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