HUME, Ill., (WCIA) — Restaurants are coming together across Douglas and Edgar counties. They’re making sure kids can eat, especially on days like Wednesday when they’re learning online at home. 

Students in the Shiloh School District are e-learning because of sicknesses going around.

Morgan Wilhoit, the elementary and junior high principal, said on Monday, 90 kids were out. That’s about 25% of the school. It’s not just students; teachers and janitors are sick too. 

Throughout the day on Wednesday, some parents stopped by the school to pick up worksheets, and others started their days online. 

“They also have the option of working on their Chromebooks. We have lots of different things on Google Classroom, IXL and different programs online they’re able to utilize,” Wilhoit said. 

She said they’ve seen an increase in illnesses the last few weeks, ranging from anything like a fever, cough, headache or vomiting.  

They started Monday with 75 kids out, but with the nurse’s office full, Wilhoit said that quickly jumped to 90 by the end of the day. 

She’s been helping to clean the school with the nurse and other aids because most of the janitors are out too. But, she wanted to do more and reached out to nearby restaurants. 

“I know that the restaurants and the businesses in this community basically run everything,” Wilhoit said. 

Jada Floyd, the manager of the Corn Crib in Newman, is one of many helping. She’s making sure they can eat even when they’re not in the lunchroom at school. 

“The smile on most of their faces. It’s a big deal,” Floyd said. “We see a lot of these kids after school or in the evening when we’re open, but to see them in here on a school day, it’s like ‘oh yeah we’re the cafeteria ladies today’ so it’s kind of a big deal for us.” 

Down the road at the Twisted Piston in Hume, Levi Eads, one of the waiters, said he’s glad they can be a resource for students. 

“Students go to school sometimes for the free lunch, that’s really a benefit that kids going to Shiloh school, he said. “When school’s shut down those kids aren’t able to really eat at home, so they can come here and get the food they need.”  

Welcome Mat in Brocton and Pit Stop in Redmon also helped feed students.

Wilhoit said a majority of students at the school are part of the free and reduced lunch program. 

Students will be e-learning again on Thursday. Many teachers are still sick and Wilhoit said there wouldn’t be enough substitutes to fill in.