WEST LIBERTY - An annual community food drive, a tradition that began nearly three decades ago in the town of West Liberty, will give 35 local families in need a few extra groceries in their cupboards this Christmas.
Every Christmas season several churches in the West Liberty area, as well as the elementary school and the local Lions Club, collect a variety of groceries for families in need during the holiday season, said event organizers Kristi Capp and Joyce Arnold.
Capp said organizations throughout the town participate in the annual event, including the West Liberty Christian Church, West Liberty Federated Church and the Short Creek Methodist Church.
More than a dozen volunteers boxed and bagged groceries throughout the morning Monday in a dining hall located in the basement of West Liberty Christian Church. Some of the many items donated included milk, eggs, bread, fruit, ham and a variety of nonperishable canned items.
"The Lion's Club gives us a lot of donations ... the churches bring in a lot of stuff ... and the kids at the school. For a month, they bring in stuff each week," said Capp, who is a member of West Liberty Christian.
She said each year they are able to obtain names of local families in need - some through the school and others through parishioners at local churches. The Rev. Dennis Arnold of the West Liberty Christian Church said, "The amazing thing about this is the community all comes together and there are people from all the different organizations out there putting the food baskets together. It's just easy for our facility to distribute it, but it's a community effort and that's one of the things that's unique about our community."