Canned food collected at the schools comes in by the truckload at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Dec. 8 for sorting and distribution with Christmas baskets. – DeeAnn Allen photos

Tradition of donating food for Christmas baskets continues

Bob Foos

Some 200 area families this week are receiving Christmas baskets made possible by the annual canned-food drive at schools.

On Dec. 8, the canned foods were picked up and and taken to Emmanuel Baptist Church for sorting.

Jerry Fisher, who has organized the operation the past 18 years, reports that volunteers from a half-dozen churches affiliated with the Webb City Ministerial Alliance, along with members of the Webb City Elks Lodge and American Legion and VFW posts, work together for the common cause.

Fisher estimates there were over 100 volunteers involved in the pickup and sorting process.

Once sorted, the participating churches and organizations pick up what food they need to fill the Christmas baskets they are preparing for families. In addition to the canned food, they provide perishable items such as chicken, ham, bacon, bread, potatoes, eggs and milk. Depending on the needs of each family, they also might include clothes and toys.

The amount of canned goods brought in may be down a little, according to Fisher, “but we had plenty.” The leftover food is taken to Samaritan’s Purse for distribution on a monthly basis throughout the year.