Special to the Bulletin

    Donations to the 28th annual Spirit of Christmas Food Drive at Brookshire’s will make a difference for residents who would otherwise be hungry over the holidays.

    The goal is to feed 16,000 families in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The food drive is sponsored by Brookshire Grocery Company and various service organizations, including the Brownwood Lions Club.

    “Many families receive assistance through this effort, and every single donation counts,” said Sam Anderson, director of consumer and community relations for BGC.

    Donations were made in cash or by placing non-perishable food items in designated bins inside participating stores.

    BGC will give at least one baking hen to each family assisted by the drive. In 2008, the company provided more than 16,000 hens. Food drive officials expect to provide the same or more this year.

    Volunteers will gather, sort, box and distribute the food and gift cards before Christmas. Anderson said the drive targets those most in need, especially the elderly and single-parent households. Recipients are screened by local relief organizations or government agencies to verify degree of need.

    All food will be distributed in the area where it is collected.

    Carroll said other service projects sponsored by the Brownwood Lions Club include building ramps at homes of local residents who need them for wheelchair access, and providing eyeglasses for needy children.