COVID-19 has canceled countless events and celebrations this year, but there’s something even the pandemic can’t stop: hunger.
And so it was that Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services staff members recently went about their normal business of collecting food donations for local families in need, while also having some fun. It just looked a little different this year.
Held each December, the division’s Feed 100 Families Food Drive is a friendly competition between DCFS’ various service units, which vie against one another to collect the greatest amount of food items for the community.
Normally, this culminates with a day when the units decorate their work areas and display their food donations as county Human Services Director John Jansen judges and awards “Most Generous” and “Most Creative” trophies to the service units.
This year, the food was still collected but the “Most Creative” component came in the form of socially distanced videos and slideshows that Jansen judged with the assistance of DCFS Gang Intervention Supervisor Donna Rhodes and Division Manager Pamela Condos.
The winners were:
- Most Generous: Prevention Services Network, which, in lieu of collecting food, donated $520 for items to be purchased.
- Most Creative: The Youth Justice Unit, for its video retrospective of previous years’ Feed 100 Families events and the meaningful work that DCFS does for the community.
Enough donations were collected to serve 105 families, with some extra food items given to the Shalom Center. A last-minute, $500 contribution from Gateway Global Ministries allowed for Dollar General gift cards to also be included in some families’ food boxes.
Jansen praised the competitors for their creativity and generosity — and for all of the work to serve children and families that they have been doing under particularly difficult circumstances this year.
“I cannot thank them enough for everything they do to promote the well-being and safety of families in our community,” Jansen said. “This food drive, which has become an annual tradition in DCFS, is a symbol of the staff’s year-round commitment to serve those in need.”
In addition to food donations from DCFS staff, nonperishable food items are also collected from community members. Cash contributions are used to purchase milk and other perishable items to accompany the nonperishables.
The food that is collected is distributed to families based on referrals from the Kenosha Unified School District and several human services agencies in the community.
More information about DCFS and its various functions is available at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/241/Children-Family-Services.