Lancaster food drive successful

January 28, 2014 by  

Since 1936, the Charity Newsies of Lancaster-Fairfield County have been helping the less fortunate, and 2013 was no exception. Just before Christmas, the organization’s members gathered on to pack food baskets. These were distributed to needy families within Fairfield County by the Newsies. Father and son Jerry and Kenny Sprague are co-chairmen of the annual event, and both are past presidents of Newsies.

The event, which is now almost 80 years old, always takes place on the last weekend before Christmas Day. Each box of food weighs approximately 70 pounds, and contains such staples as bread, eggs, ham, potatoes, bacon, vegetables, fruits, Ralston cereals, milk, and personal hygiene items. Typically, a basket contains enough food to last a family of four approximately two weeks, and most baskets have a retail value of more than $135.

The event got started December 11, 1936, when local businessmen, including the publisher of the paper now known as the Lancaster-Eagle Gazette, got together to decide how to help families suffering through the Great Depression. Since then, the Newsies have handed out food every Christmas, as well as giving away school supplies on the second Saturday of August for the new school year.

They ask the teachers for “grade-specific” suggestions and provide support to hundreds of the area’s children in need. The Newsies also help throughout the year when families need assistance due to a flood, fire, or other disaster.

This is a well-established event, but the Newsies might consider working with a flyer printing service to create handouts to be distributed just before the drive in future years, asking for people to assist.