Putnam County Food Pantry Provides Christmas Dinner and Gifts to 84 Families

Volunteers helped organize pick ups and deliver Christmas baskets to families

The Putnam County Food Pantry had a successful 35th year of distributing Christmas baskets Saturday, providing more than 80 families with a Christmas dinner and gifts for their children.


About 25 volunteers gathered at the United Church of Christ in Granville to help distribute baskets. Some helped load the cars of families picking up baskets while others loaded vehicles to make deliveries to those who can’t pick up a basket.

This year, 84 families in Putnam County received a basket, consistent with numbers from previous years, said organizer and food pantry volunteer Gayle Reno. There is no income requirement to receive a basket – all individuals who request a basket get one with no questions asked.

“It’s like clockwork, we’ve done it so many years we could do it with our eyes closed,” Reno said. “It not only helps families and kids, but also it warms our hearts too.”

The baskets contain all the makings for a full Christmas dinner, breakfast and pizza for Christmas Eve along with gifts for children and senior citizens and some clothing items. Baskets are personalized based on family, with enough food, gifts and other items to fulfill needs whether it’s a family of two or 10.

Food pantry volunteer and Treasurer Michelle Carboni said she enjoys seeing how people come together to give to those who need extra help around the holidays. Carboni recalled one year where a woman was given a bicycle for her child and began crying and thanking her, saying she never would have been able to give her child a bike without the food pantry’s help.

“Some years these are the only toys the kids get,” Carboni said.

Reno said the baskets are donation-based and volunteer-run. She said it would not be possible without the help of local organizations, businesses, churches, schools and the community.

“Any time we’re in need in this little county I put it out there and we get it,” Reno said. “It’s all community minded, and we’re all so fortunate to live in this county.”

Source: Putnam County Record