GURNEE – Woodland Schools will host a holiday food drive through Dec. 10 to help children in its schools and their families.
Business partners assisting with fundraising efforts this year include Mariano’s, Jewel, Portillos, Mission BBQ and Target.
“Thirty-five percent, or more than 2,000 children in Woodland schools are living in poverty. The annual drive is a staff-driven tradition of providing additional support to Woodland families during the holiday season,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joy A. Swoboda said in a news release. “We are grateful for the support of our local business partners as we work collaboratively to support children and the families in need within our Woodland community.”
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 East students are invited to shop with an educator from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 27, and Elementary West students are invited to shop with an educator from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4. The goal is to fill a school bus with food purchases.
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. For information, call 847-596-5600.
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, chapstick
Intermediate: Canned vegetables, pasta sauce/noodles
Snacks: crackers, pudding, fruit snacks, Animal Crackers, Goldfish, pretzels, fruit cup
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, multipurpose cleaners (409, Mr. Clean, Fantastic), dish soap, laundry detergent
Educational Support Center/Transportation: Condiments/etc.: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, peanut butter, cooking spray, salt/pepper dispensers
Those with questions, or those who know of a needy district family who may benefit from receiving a holiday food basket, contact Dr. Lori Casey, associate superintendent of education, at email@example.com.