Anyone wanting to receive assistance from the Newton County Food Basket Brigade may apply starting today and through Dec. 6.

Anyone wanting to receive assistance from the Newton County Food Basket Brigade may apply starting today and through  Dec. 6.

Applications must be made in person at the Neosho Help Center, 214 E. Main St., Neosho. Hours for the signups are as follows: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday (note, the Help Center will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22). A Saturday signup will also be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Previous year’s applications are not carried forward from year to year, noted Terry Cook, president of the Food Basket Brigade.

“The main purpose of the signups is that we want to make sure that we give the people of Newton County who want to get a food basket the chance to come down and do so,” Cook said.

When they come in to sign up, they must bring proof of residence in Newton County, a Social Security card and documentation of number of persons living in the home will be required.

This year, organizers have set the goal to collect 120,000 pounds of food to feed up to 1,200 families.

According to a press release, “it is enough food for a traditional Christmas dinner plus basic staples to last up to two weeks for Newton County residents certified as low income, disadvantaged, disabled, and/or elderly in need of assistance. Virtually all individuals and families certified to receive food through the Basket Brigade are also receiving assistance from D.F.S., Economic Security Corporation, Neosho Crosslines, the Help Center and other relief agencies. 

This assistance is minimal, at best, and provides nothing extra for the holidays. The basic premise of the Basket Brigade is that in this land of plenty, nobody should have to go hungry at Christmas.”

Important dates

• Food drive kickoff is Nov. 20
• County-wide door-to-door solicitation is Dec. 8
• Last day for donations is Dec. 12
• Food distribution is at the former Auto Tech Building, 629 N. College St., Neosho on Dec. 15. This is a new location from years past.

The basket brigade was started in 1988. This is the 25th annual community food collection effort. Since its beginning, the Basket Brigade has collected and distributed more than 5 million pounds of food.

For more information, contact Terry Cook 451-2094, Dave Winegardner at 364 7972 or Todd Higdon, at 451-1520.