The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

December 16, 2013

Christmas food baskets bring joy to the needy

OSKALOOSA — People lined up more than an hour early Saturday morning at Central United Methodist Church for a Christmas food basket.

The Oskaloosa Rotary Club, Oskaloosa High School National Honor Society students and various other volunteers distributed food baskets to needy people in Mahaska County. Each food basket provided the fixings for a traditional Christmas dinner.

"They were here at 6:45 a.m.," said Andy Glover of the Oskaloosa Rotary Club. "We opened the doors a little before 8."

The people were lined up from the rear entrance of the church to the intersection of North A Street and B Avenue West, Glover said.

There were about 40 volunteers altogether who helped make the distribution run smoothly, Glover said.

"Everything is working well," he said. "Now if the weather will cooperate. There's no snow today."

Not only were there volunteers who helped distribute the food baskets but members of the First Assembly of God Church made food deliveries to those who couldn't make it over to the church.

"We do delivery for the disabled and the home-bound," Glover said.

Jerri Minter donned a Santa hat and helped get the food baskets organized Saturday.

"I've been volunteering here for 16 years," she said. "I remember getting food baskets when I was a girl. I like to see the smiles when someone gets one."

Friday also was a busy day at the church as volunteers unloaded food deliveries to get the baskets prepared.

"It's kinda organized chaos, but everything is OK," Glover said Friday afternoon.

Oskaloosa Middle School Student Council members helped unload four truckloads of food Friday.

"They got here a little before noon," Glover said. "They'll put in a couple of hours."

Glover said another group of volunteers from the Board of Realtors arrived around 3 p.m. Friday to get the food baskets arranged.

"We're going to make 600 (food baskets)," Glover said. That number is about the same as this past year, he added.

"Fund-raising went fine," Glover said. "We met our goal."


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