Soroptimists ready for free Christmas Food Basket Giveaway

Siuslaw News File Photo from 2018

Donations still accepted to give people holiday meals on Dec. 19

Dec. 3, 2020 — Soroptimist International of Florence is holding the free Christmas Food Basket Giveaway on Saturday, Dec. 19, at Siuslaw Middle School, 2525 Oak St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will be formatted like every year. People in their vehicles will enter Siuslaw Middle School from 27th Street, tell volunteers how many people are in their households and receive a free basket of food with all the fixings for a holiday dinner.

Each Community Christmas Basket contains either a turkey or chicken; stuffing, dinner rolls and canned vegetables; fresh potatoes, carrots, apples and oranges; eggs, butter and milk; applesauce and fruit cocktail; and pantry items such as crackers, peanut butter and jam. Plus, each box also contains candy canes and cookies donated by Little Dutch Boy Cookie Company from Draper, Utah.

The baskets have a value of approximately $60 worth of food inside, with a majority of it in pre-packaged containers.

Just like in a normal year, the people receiving their baskets won’t have to get out of their cars.

Volunteers will fill shopping carts with items from each of the stations, gathering up the boxes, cans and other goods depending on the number of people in a household. Other volunteers will direct traffic.

All volunteers at the event will be masked and gloved as they work at several stations.

Soroptimist Carol Bennett, who organizes the Christmas Food Basket Giveaway, said, “We’re going to plan on buying food for 500 families this year.”

However, with an increase in food costs, she estimated that the Soroptimists will need to spend an additional $10,000 over previous years.

In addition, due to restrictions under COVID-19, Florence Soroptimists will not be doing their toy giveaway so they can focus on feeding the community.

“There are no requirements, and that’s a really important thing,” Bennett said of people who want to come to the event. “There’s nothing they have to fill out to get this box. All they have to do is come to the school and say they need a box and tell us how big a family they’re trying to feed.”

If people would like to donate, contact Bennett at 541-991-3455. Donations will be accepted through December.

People can mail donations for the Christmas Food Basket Giveaway to Soroptimist International of Florence, PO Box 1209, Florence OR 97439. They can also contact Bennett at 541-991-3455 or [email protected]