Snow doesn't stop delivery of Christmas food baskets

By Caroline Klapper | Dec 22, 2012
Photo by: Caroline Klapper Barbara Ensley helps load up a vehicle for a food basket delivery Friday morning.

While the weather could have been worse Friday morning during the local Rotarian’s annual Christmas food basket delivery, the snow and icy roads did make things a little tricky.

But much like Post Office couriers, a little snow couldn’t keep all three Haywood County clubs — Waynesville Rotary, Haywood Rotary and Sunrise Rotary — “from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” By 9 a.m., every car, truck and SUV was loaded and en route to the homes of those in need of a little help this Christmas.

Every year the Rotary clubs collect donations for food baskets, which contain enough food for a family in need to have a good Christmas dinner. This year, the club prepared 427 boxes with the help of Waynesville Ingles employees, who assembled the boxes.

“This is our 16th year,” said Tom Knapko of the Waynesville Rotary Club. “We’ve helped 5,300 families in that time, and Rotarians have donated over $115,000 to this program.”

While Knapko said he wishes there wasn’t a need for the Christmas boxes, as long as anyone needs help feeding their families during the holidays, the Rotarians will be there to aid them.

The night before the big delivery day, many of the employees at Ingles put together the boxes used to carry the food, which the store also offers at a reduced cost.

“They all want to be a part of this,” said store manager Jeff Henderson. “It kind of makes Christmas special. It’s just a great thing that we look forward to every year.”

This is the first year LeRoy Roberson was able to participate in the actual distribution of the food boxes, and he said he was glad he finally got the chance to see the program in action.

“This is great,” he said as he loaded boxes into a car.

Even the snow swirling around him didn’t damper his enthusiasm. In fact, it made the mood more Christmas-like, he said.

“It gives you a good feeling to know people are being helped this way,” Roberson said after finishing up on loading the last of a delivery.

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