NEOSHO, Mo. —
Whether the weather cooperates or not, the Newton County Food Basket Brigade plans to be out in force Saturday morning collecting nonperishable food items for families in need.
In the brigade’s 25th year, volunteers will be going door to door from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Neosho.
“We want to give these families all of the fixings for a traditional holiday meal, along with about two weeks of staples,” said Jacque Faulkner, coordinator of the food drive.
This year’s goal is 120,000 pounds of food for 1,100 to 1,200 families. The food will be given to the families on Saturday, Dec. 21.
“With anything they wish to donate, they need to put it in a bag on their porch or doorstep where it is visible so we don’t have to bother them by knocking on their door,” Faulkner said.
Those who would like to donate money to the food drive may give that at their front doors too.
“If it’s a check, we will need their address so that we can mail them a thank-you note and a gifting certificate,” Faulkner said.
Those who will not be home Saturday but who would like to make a donation of food or money may do so at the Newton County Emergency Management Agency office at Brook and Jefferson streets. Monetary donations also may be mailed to the Newton County Food Basket Brigade, P.O. Box 925, Neosho, MO 64850.
Faulkner said several hundred families have registered to receive the food at the Neosho Help Center, 214 E. Main St. Additional recipients who qualify will be signed up over the next few days if an emergency-type situation should develop for a family, she said. The telephone number for the center is 451-0884.
The families receiving the food will be assigned a specific time on Dec. 21 to pick up their food at the former Mills Park Centre, which is near Big Spring Park.
Faulkner said that in some years more food is donated than money, while in other years more money is donated than food. The donated money is used to buy food.
“I have to tell you, this has been a God thing,” she said. “When the food product does not come in as abundantly, the monetary donations do to make up for that. We could fret and stew and worry about it, but it always works out. Neosho always comes through for us.”
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO VOLUNTEER to help pick up the food may call Jacque Faulkner at 389-2185.