By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON —
The organizers of the Christmas Food Baskets program still need help from the community to make it a success this year.
The Jefferson County Ministerial Association needs more financial support before it will be able to reach its goal of 700-plus baskets of food for members of the community in need, said organizer Gene Tucker.
“We’re a significant way away from the goal to pay for the food,” Tucker said. “Our other great concern is for people to come and deliver baskets at 8 a.m. this Friday, the 14th.”
Donations to the Christmas Food Baskets program are tax deductible and may be send to Jefferson County Ministerial Association, P.O. Box 575, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864. “Christmas Food Baskets” should be written on the memo line of donation checks.
Baskets are tailored to the size of the household and include turkey, canned vegetables, potatoes, milk and bread.
Tucker said those who would like to help deliver baskets should just show up at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veterans Park at 8 a.m. Friday. Drivers should be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license.
Anyone with questions may call Gene Tucker at Trinity Episcopal Church at 242-3434.
“We give out over 700 baskets of food, and we’re up 100 from last year,” Tucker said. “The more drivers we have, we can get the baskets delivered in a timely fashion. We sure need the help.”
The Christmas for the Needy program, now called Christmas Food Baskets started in the 1940s, when downtown merchants banded together to help those in need, Tucker said.
“The ministerial association has had it for over 30 years,” he said. “I found out from a JCMA meeting last week, I had no idea it was that old.”
Tucker said he hopes the community will step up and help out.
“We’re on the home stretch here,” he said. “This isn’t just 700 individuals, it’s 700-plus households. A lot of people are being benefited directly by this program.”