The need for assistance continues to grow, even if the committee that runs the annual Holiday Food Baskets in Charlotte slowly dwindles. Fortunately for the group of four or five regular volunteers, Charlotte Assembly of God has agreed to partner with the local non-profit to try and reach more than 500 area families this holiday season.

“There are only a few of us original committee members left,” said Ann Garvey, Holiday Food Baskets coordinator. “We were in real need for an organization to come in and help us and maybe take over. We’re fortunate to have Charlotte Assembly of God agree to help us again.”

Garvey said the partnership with Charlotte Assembly of God is a good fit because the church has historically provided similar services during the holidays.

“We found quite a few people we were reaching were the same,” Garvey said.

Sheri Whitaker of Assembly of God said the church has provided a similar food basket program for at least the past 20 years.

“We enjoyed working with the community last year, that’s why we decided to do it again,” Whitaker said. “The church brings a lot of volunteers, especially around the holidays, that love to help out.”

Whitaker said Charlotte Assembly of God will continue providing holiday food baskets to those in need in the community, including members of their congregation that may be in need around the holidays.

In the last few years, the Holiday Food Baskets program has grown to provide food for more than 500 families within the Charlotte Public Schools District. Garvey said she anticipates a similar, if not greater need, this year.

It takes a tremendous amount of community support to make the Holiday Food Baskets program possible. Each family, regardless of the number of people in a family, receives a box filled with enough food for a few meals. Garvey said the number of one, two and three-person households has held steady over the years, but the number of very large families has increased as hard times have forced families to combine their living situations.

Each family only needs to register for one basket and provide the number of people in the family to make sure there is enough food. Registration cards may be picked up at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, SIREN/Eaton Shelter, Housing Services for Eaton County, Charlotte Assembly of God and The County Journal. There are no restrictions to who is eligible to receive a basket aside from the requirement that the family live within the Charlotte Public Schools district.

Registration cards can be returned to the location received by Dec. 10. Baskets will be distributed Friday, Dec. 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 21 from 8 to 11 a.m. Volunteers will be needed to help sort and pack, which will take place Monday, Dec. 16 and Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Eaton County Commissioner, Wally Miars has once again donated the use of his building, located at 1699 Lansing Road (just north of LAFCU) for this year’s distribution site. Monetary donations can be made to Charlotte Holiday Food Basket, P.O. Box 175, Charlotte, MI 48813 or any of the locations providing cards.

For more information, call Ann Garvey at (517) 281-0131 or Sheri Whitaker at (517) 543-0649.