District 65 Board President and COPE Board member Candance Chow, right, Gini Ohlson, center, and her daughter, Olivia, were on hand to collect donations to stuff the bus.

The annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive by Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston (COPE) invited community members to donate canned goods, toiletries, and non-perishables to be distributed to District 65 families.

    By 4 p.m. on Oct. 15, shoppers and others helped pack a school bus parked in front of Valli Produce in Evanston Plaza with more than 700 bags of food, which were then distributed to families who came to the plaza to avail themselves of this added help to their weekly budget. Another 400 bags were left at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to be distributed there.

    Evanston COPE provides assistance to Evanston families with immediate needs related to sustenance, safety, and shelter through a network of volunteers in the Evanston school district. Through each school, COPE provides families with access to groceries and emergency meals, beds and other furniture, funds for basic needs (on a limited basis), and services opportunities for family growth.