Local grocery store, schools organize food drive for Evanston food pantry

Marissa Page, City Editor

An Evanston grocery store collaborated with local schools to collect and donate more than 1,500 non-perishable food items to a local food pantry this week.

Valli Produce, which opened its sixth location at 1910 Dempster St. this past summer, partnered with seven local elementary and middle schools to collect food items for its first annual Valli Produce Evanston Holiday Food Drive. Donations were brought to The Harvest Food Pantry, 2495 Howard St.

The schools, four of which are part of Evanston/Skokie School District 65, competed in gathering donations. Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies collected the most donations, and won a $1,000 prize from Valli for its effort. District 65 schools Oakton Elementary, Dewey Elementary and Lincoln Elementary also participated in the drive, along with St. Joan of Arc, Thomas Edison Elementary and Lincoln Jr. High schools.

The schools collectively accumulated more than 1,500 food items for the food pantry from Dec. 9 to Jan. 3. The Harvest Pantry serves more than 225 Chicago-area families weekly.

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