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updated: 12/2/2013 5:42 AM

Food donations trickling in slowly, South Elgin Lions Club says

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  • South Elgin Lions Club member Allan Shelton sorts food intended for baskets for area families.

    South Elgin Lions Club member Allan Shelton sorts food intended for baskets for area families.
    Courtesy of South Elgin Lions


Every year, the South Elgin Lions Club collects food donations that feed about 200 local families over Christmas.

This year donations are trickling in slowly. Organizers hope that raising awareness will inspire more people to contribute to the annual holiday food basket drive.

Leo Snyder, chairman of the drive, said each family usually gets food for Christmas dinner and a couple of additional meals. The drive includes toys and coats, but food is most needed, he said.

"It comes in spurts. Right now it's very slow. There are three weeks to go before we start getting boxes to box up the food," he said.

The slow trickle might be due to people being focused on helping victims of the recent tornadoes in central Illinois, said Snyder's daughter, Kim Geske, of South Elgin.

"There are a lot of families in need, and I think there are nice people out there somewhere," she said.

"I just hope that the holidays are good for everybody. We'd love a lot of donations to help out the families that are in need."

Most needed is canned food, especially Christmas dinner items, plus packaged food like cereal, Snyder said.

Donations also can be dropped off at South Elgin village hall, 10 N. Water St.; First Community Bank, 165 S. Randall Road, Elgin; Randall's Pancake House, 305 Randall Road, South Elgin; and Wise Guys Pizzeria, 325 Randall Road, South Elgin.

Starting Monday, donation boxes will be placed at all South Elgin schools, Snyder said.

To help the cause, Wise Guys Pizzeria will sponsor a fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11. The cost is $10 per person, free for kids 12 and younger. It includes an all-you-can eat buffet, spaghetti, garlic bread and salad. The pizzeria will split the proceeds with the Lions Club.

People also can contribute financially to the food basket drive. Donations can be mailed to the South Elgin Lions Club at 500 Fulton St. Write "food basket" on the memo line.

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