Woodland supports families with meal service, food drive

  • Assistant principals Dr. Timothy Tyrell, left, and Pablo Arboleda, right, deliver food to cars during Woodland District 50's Grab and Go Meal Service.

    Assistant principals Dr. Timothy Tyrell, left, and Pablo Arboleda, right, deliver food to cars during Woodland District 50's Grab and Go Meal Service. Courtesy of Brooke Hagstrom

Submitted by Brooke Hagstrom
Updated 4/10/2020 11:11 AM

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Illinois have transitioned to a remote learning model and school buildings will remain closed to students through at least Thursday, April 30.

While schools are able to meet the educational needs of students virtually, there are many students who depend on schools to meet their daily nutritional needs, as well.


Woodland District 50 is committed to performing this essential function while schools are closed, and has been fortunate to have support from the community.

Daily Grab and Go Meal Service

Woodland is providing daily Grab and Go Meal Service to any child younger than 18 Monday through Friday. This is a curbside pickup service so that recipients do not need to leave the car.

Families simply drive up to the school, tell the school volunteer how many children they need meals for and drive away with the food.

This program runs Monday through Friday throughout April from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Woodland Middle School, 7000 Washington St., Gurnee.

During the first week of service, Woodland provided 4,387 grab and go meals.

Woodland Food Drive

The daily grab and go lunches feed students, but families may also need additional assistance. To help meet that need, Woodland organized a food drive.

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Many families and community members were reaching out, asking how they could help, so Woodland is accepting online donations. That allowed the community to support their efforts while encouraging people to remain safely in their homes.

By March 30, Woodland had received $6,140 in donations from the community for the food drive. Woodman's in Volo prepared six pallets of food for pickup and loaded it onto one of its buses. A small team of administrators unloaded the bus and packed 250 bags of food for families for the first scheduled pick up on April 1. For the first pickup, they handed out 124 bags of food.

"It was uplifting to see how happy families were as we loaded their cars with bags of food," said Jordan Anderson, assistant principal at Woodland Primary.

"Even though we aren't able to join together in person, this community has come together to support our Woodland families."

"This morning the Rotary Club of Gurnee reached out to me asking if they could help support our food drive," said Acting Superintendent Dr. Lori Casey.


"They are donating $1,000 to help feed our families. That brings our total up over $7,000, which means we will need to send another bus to the store. We are so thankful for the outpouring of support we have seen from this community, and we continue to draw strength from each other."

To donate, visit woodland.revtrak.net/woodland-food-drive.

Additional information about Woodland's response to this pandemic and communication with families can be found online at www.dist50.net/coronavirus.

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