Randolph County Christmas Food Basket Program Will Soon Be Underway | News

Since 1972, the Christmas Food Basket Project has been providing food for low-income families throughout Randolph County during the Holiday Season. The project is completely operated by volunteers and 100% of the food goes to Randolph County Residents as any leftover food is given to area food pantries. Posters provided by Baker Elementary School, colored and decorated by the students are up in numerous places throughout the county including Winchester, Lynn, Ridgeville, Saratoga, Farmland, Modoc, and Losantville.

The program has been under the same supervision for the last 26 years and is made possible with the aid of contributions from numerous area businesses, churches, scouts, school children, and other generous individuals and organizations.

Financial donations for the Randolph County Christmas Food Basket Program. Due to the Covid-19 virus, all food for the program this year will be purchased. No donated food will be accepted. Those wishing to donate money should make their checks payable to “RC Christmas Food Baskets” and mail them to RC Christmas Food Baskets, P.O. Box 51 Winchester, IN 47394.

This year, to ensure the safety of the volunteers assisting with the applications, no in-person applications will be taken. Those wishing to apply should call the Countryside Christian Church at (765) 584-1951 or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at (765) 584-0833 or (765) 546-1374 between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM from November 29 until December 3. They may also call the First Presbyterian Church of Winchester from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM on either November 30 or December 2. Callers will be asked questions about the size of their family and their income. Any doctor’s office, school or other such organization should try to see that their appropriate clients or associates are aware of these times.  

Volunteers, from several organizations, will begin sorting, counting, and packing the food at the 4-H Grounds from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM on December 13, and possibly on December 14. Over the many years the project has been in existence, volunteers, which usually include the high school basketball team, have been able to pack as many as 800 boxes in 2 hours. Boxes generally contain about $50 worth of food for each family.

Two shifts of volunteer drivers and workers will deliver and distribute the food baskets on December 18 with the first being from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM and the second being from 12:30 PM until 3:30 PM. Those receiving baskets will receive a letter which they must present in order to receive their food basket. Basket recipients may pick-up their items in person at the 4-H Grounds on December 21, or have them delivered by one of the drivers. “The 4-H Grounds has been a great location in the past,” says Randolph County Christmas Food Baskets Coordinator AnnMarie Browne. “It has plenty of space and is only a short drive for people from all over Randolph County to get to,” she adds.

Browne has been supervising the program for the last 26 years. “It’s amazing how far we’ve come over the years,” she states. “We started with a handful of volunteers handwriting what each family would receive. Now, with all of the advancements through the years, if someone calls and hasn’t gotten their basket yet we can easily track down which driver has their basket and let them know that it is on its way,” she adds. “They say it takes a village, well this wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of hundreds of volunteers and organizations in our wonderful community.” Anyone wanting to volunteer to pack, deliver, or load food or anyone  who has questions and would like more detailed information may call (765) 546-1180.

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