This story was aired on November 29, 2019.
More than 10% of Johnson County's 12, 899 residents are food insecure, according to Map the Meal Gap 2019 study by Feeding America, a national non-profit organization made of networks of food banks.
Local residents saw the growing need and are independently organizing to make sure their most vulnerable neighbors are being fed.
Brenda Kreuter of Vienna, Illinois is the organizer of the two Blessing Boxes in the city which is open to anyone who needs extra food but don't have money to buy it.
Barbara Watkins from Goreville, Illinois is the organizer of the local Blessings in a Backpack program that helps feed children over the weekend in Johnson County who don't have access to food at home.