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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Local groups seek food for needy

  • The Kiwanis Club, Lions Club and Boy Scouts will hit the streets early Saturday morning to collect food for those less fortunate.
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  • The Kiwanis Club, Lions Club and Boy Scouts will hit the streets early Saturday morning to collect food for those less fortunate.
    These organizations have teamed up for the 33rd annual Christmas Food Basket project. This project helps provide less fortunate members of the community with food for the holidays.
    Bags were distributed last Saturday with fliers explaining the drive and needed food items to McPherson residents. Lee James, president of Kiwanis Club of McPherson, said the team will begin collecting donations between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
    James said the project makes between 250 and 300 baskets each year for people in need. These baskets include items such as green beans, corn, pork and beans, soup and potatoes.
    James said the organizations typically spend around $5,000 each year to supplement the donations collected from the community. Part of this amount goes toward perishable foods, such as meat, eggs and butter, that can't be donated in advance.
    “There are a lot of people a lot less fortunate that need help,” James
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    said. “That's what we need to be doing to take care of our community.”
    Those in need can register for a Christmas Food Basket, along with other support programs, at the senior center. James said baskets will vary in size depending on the individuals' needs and the number of people.
    Because the project is manpower intensive, James said volunteers also are needed to pick up food on Saturday and deliver baskets on Dec. 14. He said the community has been supportive in past years, and businesses have started employee food drives to support the effort.
    “It's an opportunity to give back to the community,” James said.
    Items not used in food baskets will be donated to the McPherson Food Bank. James said the project usually has a sizable surplus of certain items, so people don't need to worry about short-changing the food bank.
    “If they support us, there's a good chance it'll go to the food bank,” James said.
    Those wishing to donate food should place it on their porch or curb by 9 a.m. Saturday. Donations should include nonperishable items only. Monetary donations to cover the cost of perishable and other items also will be accepted.
    Those who are unable to donate Saturday can call James at 755-1760, Bob Carson at 242-4129, Glenn Gayer at 245-4729, Rich Zimmerman, Lions Club president, at 504-6294 or Ted Hammarlund, Boy Scouts representative, at 241-0311.
    Contact Josh Arnett by email at jarnett@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @ArnettSentinel.
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