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Illinois non-profit reaches more than 300 families with free meals, books


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    ROCK ISLAND, IL (WQAD) — Spring Forward distributed more than 2,000 books and 800 meals to families in their after school programs during a holiday drive-thru event this afternoon.

Families drove through St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island throughout the day picking up goodie bags filled with small gifts and books. Meals were also passed out, courtesy of PeeWee’s Restaurant.

Spring Forward’s Executive Director Dan McNeil says about 350 families came through their event, and for staff and volunteers, the event was all about seeing the kids they haven’t been able to see as much because of the pandemic.

“When you head back to virtual (learning, it’s just nice to make this connection and do it in a safe way, even if we’re just doing it through cars,” McNeil says.

Each kid was also gifted five new books, along with learning activities to enjoy during winter break.

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