Chelsea Kiwanis, Winn-Dixie team up to feed needy

As the holidays approached, members of Chelsea’s Kiwanis Club knew there would be needy families looking for some help.

So when Eugene Okorley, manager of the Chelsea Winn-Dixie, called with a plan for a food drive, the Kiwanis didn’t think twice.

“All communities, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have a need to feed families,” said Kiwanis President Mary Fogo. “Chelsea is full of very generous businesses and families. We knew if we set up a food drive, the community would come through.”

Winn-Dixie has been collecting food from customers and those looking to donate for the past two months.

Kiwanis member Dale Neuendorf said he believes enough food has been collected to feed 50 families in the Chelsea and greater Shelby County area.

“The goal is to make Christmas a little brighter and provide good food for families and children,” he said.

The Kiwanis club called charities and churches to find out about families who needed help. The club began delivering food to those families Dec. 10 and will continue through the week of Christmas.

Fogo said she believes the next Kiwanis food drive will be even bigger and more successful.

“Chelsea has really come through on this project, and it gives us hope that if we organize another food drive in 2010, we can make it bigger and better.”

Okorley said Winn-Dixie’s goal is to be a vital part of a growing community.

“We want to give back to the community, and we do events like this to give back,” he said.

People can still bring canned goods and non-perishables to the Chelsea Winn-Dixie until the week of Christmas. For more information, contact the store at 678-8808.