Kiwanis Club, Lions Club and Boy Scouts will collect food Saturday at homes as part of the annual Christmas Food Basket Project.
The project distributes about 350 baskets of food to needy families in McPherson and McPherson County every year. This year the delivery date is Dec. 15.
Pickup time for McPherson residents will be at 9 a.m. Saturday. Non-perishable food items should be placed in a grocery sack and left on the front porch or driveway. Individuals are asked not to leave any glass containers or expired food.
Examples of canned items needed are green beans, corn, pork and beans, baked beans, soup, tomatoes, mixed vegetables, canned meats (pork, ham, chicken or fish), and fruit. Boxed items could include cake mixes, Jell-O, cereal, hamburger helper, or other similar items.
Households not home on Saturday or living outside of town may call 245-8271, 242-4129, 245-4729, 245-0502 or 241-0311 to arrange donation pickup or delivery.
Organizers anticipate having to purchase additional non-perishable items to supplement those collected in the food drive this year, in addition to the perishable items traditionally included. Estimated cost for these items is $4,000 to $5,000.
Individuals may help by giving monetary donations, participating in an employee food drive, volunteering to pick up food Saturday, preparing food baskets for distribution, and distributing food baskets Dec. 15.
“Most people in McPherson are very generous,” Don Blankenship, Lions president, said. “College students from out of town have helped in the past and they find this unbelievable that the town takes care of ourselves the way we do.”
Blankenship said they have not had a shortfall in supply in recent years, and he expects a similar trend this year. He has seen an increase in demand lately, however.
“Every year it seems to increase a little bit,” he said. “With the economy like it is, we expect that.”
Blankenship has been participating in this every year for 10 years and has delivered many baskets.
“Usually people are very appreciative,” he said. “There's always smiling faces. The kids always seem to be very happy you come. They look forward to it.
“We’re glad to give it to them and help them. I think it’s a great deal and a great service to the community. I enjoy doing it.”
Food not used for the Christmas baskets will be donated to the McPherson County Food Bank.