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Holiday donations sought for Woodland families in need

GURNEE – Woodland schools are hosting a holiday food drive to help children in the schools and their families.

This is an annual tradition and the entire district gets involved, from Woodland students bringing in donations, to the staff at each school working on securing donations from local businesses and organizing fundraising events.

“The holidays can be a stressful time of year for families living in poverty, and this is a reality for many of our Woodland students. The annual food drive is the district’s way of bringing our community together and providing additional support to Woodland families during the holiday season,” Superintendent Joy A. Swoboda said in a news release.

“Thank you to our amazing staff and parent volunteers for the time and energy they contribute to this event to make it a success,” he continued.

Until Dec. 9, the school district is in the donation collection stage. Students are given suggested categories of nonperishable food based on the school they attend so that a variety of needed items are collected for the food drive.

For example, students at Primary are encouraged to bring canned meats, beans and paper products.

Students at Elementary are encouraged to bring canned soup, boxed items such as pasta and rice, and personal care items such as shampoo and toothpaste.

The request for Intermediate students is to bring canned vegetables, pasta sauce, and snacks such as granola bars.

Finally, Middle School students are asked to consider donating canned fruit, breakfast items and cleaning supplies.

Woodland families are invited to self-register if they wish to receive a food basket at the food distribution event.

Those who sign up to receive additional support through the food drive come to the event and fill their basket with supplies they need.

Various service agencies host information tables at the event to connect families with other resources they may need. Contact Lori Casey at if you wish for your family to be included.

Another highlight of the food drive is the Shop with an Educator night at Target in Gurnee. Many teachers and administrators will be in attendance to shop with their students.

Students are invited to stop by Target with a family member and shop from a provided list of food items to donate to Woodland families in need.

The Shop with an Educator schedule:

• Elementary East: 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3

• Elementary West: 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5

• Intermediate: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9

There will be a school bus parked outside and the goal of Shop with an Educator night will be to fill a school bus with food purchases.

The school district also is collecting new hats and mittens as well as new or gently used books. Students are welcome to bring donations with them to the school.

Parents and community members can drop donations off at the Woodland Educational Support Center, 1105 N. Hunt Club Road, Gurnee. For information, call 847-596-5600.

If you have questions, contact Lori Casey, associate superintendent of education, at

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