On Saturday, families who qualified will receive food during the 25th annual Newton County Food Basket Brigade, to be held at the former Auto Tech building, 629 N. College St., Neosho.
“We are seeing well more than 1,000 families this year,” said Terry Cook, president of the food basket brigade.
This year’s goal was to collect 120,000 pounds of food to feed up to 1,200 families. The food baskets are actually several sacks of food.
“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,” a food basket brigade press release stated. “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.”
Families will start coming in on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., with the last family coming in at 1:30 p.m.
Organizers are asking for anyone who would like to volunteer to help pass out food to the families who come in, can do so Saturday morning.
“You can be there by 8 a.m. but if you want to come later, to release some of the other people, you can. We will take anybody, anytime.”
Any food and cash leftover will be given to the Neosho Help Center for distribution to clients in 2013.
For the last few weeks, businesses, individuals and others have donated either non-perishable food or monetary donations for this worthy cause. Cook and the food basket brigade organizers are grateful for the support.
“Donations are coming great, people are awesome, they are so awesome,” he said. “You couldn’t ask for better people, this is the best place in the world to live. They always come through for their neighbors. My hats off to everybody, I can’t express my appreciation for everyone around here.”
Now in its 25th year, the annual community food collection effort has collected and distributed more than 5 million pounds of food.