Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Food Basket Brigade kicks off

  • For the past 17 years, Clark Funeral Home has been holding the Tree of Memories to raise funds for the Newton County Food Basket Brigade.
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  • For the past 17 years, Clark Funeral Home has been holding the Tree of Memories to raise funds for the Newton County Food Basket Brigade.
    This year, they set a new record, raising $4,100 for the annual food drive effort.
    “We started delivering for the food basket brigade many years ago,” said Fred Clark, owner of the funeral home. “We are proud to be a part of it, and we will be doing delivery again this year.”
    People either purchased new ornaments or made a donation and used a previously purchased one, Clark said. For each new ornament sold, the funeral home matched the cost dollar for dollar, Clark said. A total of 688 new and used ornaments were placed on two Christmas trees. One was in place at the funeral home’s Neosho location, while the other is located at the Granby branch.
    Terry Cook, food basket brigade coordinator, said he was pleased with the effort.
    “The people in this area are the best,” he said. “Times are tough, but they always come through and dig deep in their pockets.”
    The Basket Brigade is now in its 26th year of collecting food for distribution at Christmas to needy families and individuals in Newton County. Last year the drive distributed food to more than 1,000 families.
    The goal this year is to provide 120,000 pounds of food for some 1,200 needy families. Cook said in the first two days of signups last week, 240 families signed up for assistance.
    It is the goal of the annual food basket brigade that no one goes hungry at Christmas. The drive not only provides each family with a Christmas dinner, but also enough staples and foodstuffs to last for two weeks.
    Donations of food are being taken at various businesses around Neosho, including at the Neosho Daily News. Students in almost all schools in the county are participating in school-organized food collection drives as well.
    Applications for assistance from the 2013 Food Basket Brigade are being accepted Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Neosho Help Center, 214 East Main, Neosho. Proof of residence in Newton County, a Social Security card and documentation on the number of persons living in the home will be required. Previous year’s certifications are not carried forward to the current year.
    The donation deadline is Dec. 18. Food will be distributed Saturday, Dec. 21, at the former Mills Park Centre in downtown Neosho, which is a new location this year.
    Since its beginning in 1988, the Basket Brigade has collected more than 5 million pounds of food for Christmas baskets.
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