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D. 202 Bags of Hope food program gets new home, new helpers

The Bags of Hope backpack food program that has provided nutritious food to hundreds of District 202 students will have a new home, and a new set of helpers this school year.

Starting this month, the private, volunteer-run program will be housed at Plainfield Academy, District 202’s alternative school.

As well, students in the district’s Post-Secondary Transition and Education (P-Step) program will help volunteers stock, sort, and bag food as part of their career and life skill training.

The P-Step program helps 18–21-year-old students with special needs learn work and independent living skills through community-based experiences. 

“This is a wonderful chance to partner with, and support, an organization that has done so much good for our students and the community,” said District 202 Director of High School Student Services Tim Albores.

“Plus, our students also get a chance to practice on-the-job work skills,” Albores said. “District 202 is proud to support Bags of Hope,” Albores said. “This is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Bags of Hope formed in 2016 when another similar organization folded. Since then, BOH volunteers have discreetly provided thousands of backpacks of nutritious, non-perishable food to hundreds of needy students in District 202 and surrounding areas.

The demand for their services increased exponentially when the Covid-19 pandemic kept students who relied on school for food services at home doing remote learning.

The program has been housed in various small, and temporary, facilities and welcomes the chance for a stable home, said Bags of Hope Secretary Stephanie Jerabek.

“We are beyond ecstatic to be able to continue helping students and families without the extra worry of having to move every few months or couple of years,” she said.


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