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Elks deliver Christmas cheer

December 21, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Check out this Christmas care package:

o One gallon of milk

o One turkey

o Ten pounds of potatoes

o Three pounds of onions

o A dozen eggs

o A loaf of bread

o A bag of apples

o Five pounds of flour

o Five pounds of sugar

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Those and other items were boxed up individually Saturday and delivered to 84 needy families in the area as part of an effort by Hagerstown Elks Lodge 378 to make Christmas a little merrier for local needy families.

The local Elks Lodge at 11063 Robinwood Drive gives away the food every year, but the number of families that was helped this year about doubled due to the tough economy, said Nina A. Garrett, leading knight of the local club.

Lodge members picked needy families to receive the food and most of the cost -- estimated at more than $3,000 -- is paid by the club, Garrett said.

The effort was scheduled to start at 7 a.m. at the lodge with a free breakfast for helpers, club officials said. Club members and other volunteers then were scheduled to pack up the food boxes and load them onto pickup trucks, minivans and station wagons to be delivered to families, club officials said.

"It's an involved process that we go through," Garrett said. "It does your heart good."

Other items in the food boxes included cans of vegetables, a bag of hard candy, a box of cereal and a box of stuffing mix, Garrett said.

"If the family is large, we might double everything," Garrett said.

If the family is really large, a tripling of items is required, Garrett said.

Local students could participate to collect community service hours for graduation, organizers said.

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