Benevolent Food Basket program makes countywide distribution Friday

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Like Santa's little helpers, volunteers with the Dallas County Sheriff's Benevolent Association's Benevolent Food Basket Program, from left, Bob Coffin, Chris Hinds, Grayson Hill, Tom Wolf, Marion Lehman and Jeremiah Minshall, loaded their sleighs Friday morning and delivered good things to 75 Dallas County families.

Josephina Nava of Perry, second from right, was happy for the holiday help delivered Friday morning by Perry Volunteer Fire Department members, from left, Grayson Hill, Aimee bane and Marion Lehman, who sported festive headwear.
Josephina Nava of Perry, second from right, was happy for the holiday help delivered Friday morning by Perry Volunteer Fire Department members, from left, Grayson Hill, Aimee Bane and Marion Lehman, who sported festive headwear.

Now in its 20th season of holiday helpfulness, the Benevolent Food Basket program of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Benevolent Association delivered an extra helping of food to 75 families in Dallas County Friday.

From their staging grounds at the Dallas County Extension offices on the fairgounds in Adel, volunteers from the sheriff’s office and various municipal fire departments loaded their vehicles and fanned out to towns and farm houses around Dallas County, bringing meat and potatoes, bread and milk and eggs, blankets and toys “and various other foods and sundries” to county families, according to the Sheriff’s Benevolent Association.

Dallas County Sheriff's Benevolent Association
Dallas County Sheriff’s Benevolent Association

The original traces of holiday benevolence trace unofficially to 1990 and the delivery of small, private gifts, with as few as eight or 10 baskets delivered countywide at first, according to Perry Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Chris Hinds, a longtime Dallas County Deputy Sheriff. The program has been an officially organized event of the Sheriff’s Benevolent Association since 1995.

Officers of the association were on hand Friday to help with logistics, including Dallas County Sheriff’s Benevolent Association president Nick Stucker, Vice President Jeremiah Minshall, Secretary Becky Massure and Treasurer Bob Coffin. Other volunteers were also on hand to help.

The Perry team was led by Hinds, who was assisted by Perry Volunteer Fire Department members Marion Lehman, Grayson Hill and Tom Wolf. Of the 75 food baskets, the Perry volunteers took on more than half, with 36 baskets for families in Perry and another 10 going to families in Bouton, Dawson and Minburn.

Donations from volunteers and local business are the backbone of the Benevolent Food Basket program. Doug Bruce, owner of Osmundson Manufacturing in Perry, is a large and longtime supporter of the holiday food program. Additional donations came from Tyson Fresh Meats in Perry, the Adel Fareway, Pepsi Cola, Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling in Waukee, the Perry Hy-Vee, NW Trailer Sales and Service in Adel, the Dallas County Fair Board, Hy-Line International in Dallas Center “and many other business, citizens and volunteers,” according to the Sheriff’s Benevolent Association.

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