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Woodland families in need to receive donations

GURNEE – Woodland Schools will host a holiday food drive through Dec. 11 to help students and their families.

Business partners assisting with fundraising efforts this year include Boston Chicken, Chipolte, Penn Station, MOD Pizza, Target, Prairie Orthodontics, and Evereve Clothing Store.

“Thirty-five percent, or more than 2,000, children in Woodland schools are living in low-income or impoverished situations. The annual drive is a staff-driven tradition of providing additional support to Woodland families during the holiday season,” Superintendent Joy A. Swoboda said in a news release.

Another highlight of the food drive is the Shop with an Educator night at Target in Gurnee. Woodland Elementary East and West children are invited to stop by Target with a family member and shop for food items to donate to less fortunate Woodland families. Elementary West students were invited to shop with an educator Nov. 29 and Elementary East students are invited to shop with an educator from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5. The goal is to fill a school bus with food purchases, the release stated.

The school district also is collecting new hats and mittens and new or gently used books. Parents may send their donations to school with their child or drop donations off at the Woodland Educational Support Center, 1105 N. Hunt Club Road, Gurnee.

To ensure a variety of items are donated to families in need, here are some suggestions:

Primary School: Canned meals/meat: spaghetti and meatballs, SpaghettiOs, baked beans, chili, ravioli, tuna fish, chicken, Manwich. Paper products: napkins, facial tissue, paper towels, toilet paper, Handi-wipes.

Elementary: Canned soup/stew. Boxed food: Hamburger Helper, Pasta Roni/noodles, potatoes, stuffing, rice, macaroni and cheese. Personal care: Shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste toothbrushes, lotion, lip balm.

Intermediate: Canned vegetables, pasta sauce/noodles. Snacks: Crackers, pudding, fruit snacks, Animal Crackers, Goldfish, pretzels, fruit cups.

Middle School: Canned fruit, breakfast foods: cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix and syrup, granola bars, Nutri-grain bars, cereal bars, Special K bars. Cleaning supplies: window cleaner, multi-purpose cleaners, dish soap, laundry detergent.

Educational Support Center/Transportation: Condiments/Etc: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, peanut butter, cooking spray, salt/pepper dispensers.

If you have any questions, or know of a needy district family who may benefit from receiving a holiday food basket, contact Lori Casey, associate superintendent of education, at

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