More than 800 Newton County families will receive food baskets this Saturday, as the annual Newton County Food Basket Brigade will be held.

More than 800 Newton County families will receive food baskets this Saturday, as the annual Newton County Food Basket Brigade will be held.
The families who signed up will head to the newton County Fairgrounds with their designated time from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
"The mission statement for the food basket brigade right from the very first one - this is our 30th one - is that we want everybody to have enough food for a Christmas dinner and groceries to last seven to 10 days after Christmas," said Terry Cook, president of the food basket brigade. "We will run 80 families every 30 minutes until 1 p.m."
The families will receive a pre-cooked ham, along with non-perishable canned food items to potatoes to bread, cake mixes and other items.
Since the food basket brigade kicked off back in late November of this year, monetary donations and non-perishable food items have been coming in great.
"We feel like we have great numbers (food), people have been really, really generous this year, with food and monetary donations," said Cook. "It is great. It is just amazing how people help each other. This community, this county, they just reach in and give their last dollar. They really do."
Cook also said they have several homebound families as well.
"We have fantastic people who have offered up services of their vehicles and taking baskets out between 9 a.m. to noon Saturday," he said. "We also need volunteers here that day."
After the food distribution is done, any food left over will be taken to the Help Center, located near Skateland in Neosho.
"They (Help Center) can give it out because they have a real need for it," Cook said.

Background information
The basic premise of the Basket Brigade is that in this land of plenty, nobody should have to go hungry at Christmas. This year’s goal of the food basket brigade is to collect 120,000 pounds of food to feed families. The food will be 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.

Important information
• Distribution Day will be Saturday, Dec. 16
• Snow Day will be Monday, Dec. 18