‘Bags of Hope’ event aims to feed hundreds of families in Rock County over the holidays

For the 11th consecutive year, the School District of Janesville and other community partners have organized to feed hundreds of Rock County families.

The Bags of Hope event delivers food items and other necessities to senior citizens and families in the school district who need help during the holiday season.

“They get some toiletries, they get a bag of protein, meat products, vegetables, fruit, milk, anything you can think of,” said Carrie Kulinski, the district’s family in transition coordinator.

Kulinski says close to 500 students within the district are homeless.

“A lot of people think we don’t see homeless because we don’t see them on the street,” she said. “But 80% of my families are doubled up, living with other families.”

She said that during the school year, many of these students rely on free meals at school.

“That might be the only meal they have that day,” she said.

According to the district, last year’s event raised close to $40,000 and fed more than 350 district families.

“Without this event, some of these families will go hungry over the holidays. They won’t have food to eat,” Kulinski said.

At the event, student volunteers worked to package donated food into bags, which volunteers then drove to families in need.

“For students to reach out to their peers and help a family, it’s a valuable teaching lesson for them,” Kulinski said. “Just to appreciate what they have and their peers do not.”

The district says donations are still welcome, and are made payable to the School District of Janesville care Bags of Hope.

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