The 2017 Newton County Food Basket Brigade is officially under way.

The 2017 Newton County Food Basket Brigade is officially under way.
On Tuesday at the Clark Funeral Homes in Neosho, the staff of the funeral home presented a $4,300 check to Newton County Food Basket Brigade's president Terry Cook.
"We have been involved (with the Food Basket Brigade) since 1997," said Dan Hierholzer, with the funeral home. "We started with the Tree of Memories (which was held Monday night at the Civic)."
As far as why the funeral home is helping out, Hierholzer said, "it is a two-fold situation to help people, for grieving families and families that are in need for food this time of the year. (With the Tree of Memories), people buy an ornament for $5 for their loved one that has passed (away) with their name engraved on it. The night of the Tree of Memories, that is hung on (one of two trees) for either Neosho and Granby, then a percentage of that money is given to the Food Basket Brigade. Also, each year, they renew that if they so wish, that ornament to be re-hung and by doing that they don't have to buy an ornament, they just make a contribution to the Food Basket Brigade, in the amount they wish, we suggest $2 and that is how we raised the funds this year... and we match that amount through the funeral home."
Cook was pleased with the check and said that it will help this year's families.
"We greatly appreciate that very much because in the last three of four years, we have been averaging around 1,000 families in Newton County that we help with this money," said Cook. "Our mission is that we don't want anybody in this county to go without Christmas dinner and groceries for 7-10 days after that. And with your generous over-the-top donation, that will sure help for Christmas."

Important information
• Sign-ups will begin at the Help Center,  1329 Business Highway 49, Neosho. Here are the dates and times for sign-up: Nov. 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Dec. 5, 6, and 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• When signing up you must show proof that you are a Newton County resident by bringing a current ID, a utility bill, Social Security Card and a current telephone number
• Community-wide pick-up will be on Saturday, Dec. 9.
• Distribution Day will be Saturday, Dec. 16
• Snow Day will be Monday, Dec. 18
• For more information call the "Help Center" at 417-451-0884.