SAVOY, Ill. (WCIA) – The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office held its Back-to-School Barbecue over the weekend.

Free food and entertainment were provided, but the main purpose of the event was to hand out school supplies to children. The sheriff and deputies collected donations from the community ahead of the event. That included items like colored pencils, crayons, and folders. Nearly 200 backpacks were donated during the barbecue.

“This is just a good chance to bridge the gap with the community a little bit. We’ve obviously got a lot of deputies, a helicopter itself, ambulance and police cars, firetrucks — just basically an opportunity for the community to come out and interact with us and get some free food and free t-shirts,” Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heuerman said.

“We’re hoping to continue this, and make it a tradition for the sheriff’s office, and maybe do something a little different each year, add some more things too it. The bigger we can make it, the better,” Champaign County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Mayo said.

This was the first year for the event, but they hope to keep it going in the future.