Community News

Merrick Kiwanis reaches out to families in need

The Merrick Kiwanis Club and Calhoun High School Key Club assembled more than 100 boxes of food and bags of toys for families in need from throughout the Merricks on Dec. 15.
Scott Brinton/Herald Life

One of Calhoun High School’s old garages was transformed into a mini-warehouse last Sunday, full of hundreds of jars of spaghetti sauce, cans of soup and vegetables, and bags of sugar.

Merrick Kiwanis Club volunteers formed a neat line, hurriedly assembling cardboard boxes of food for donation to 26 families in need across the Merricks. Each family also received a fresh turkey, courtesy of Smith Street Deli owner Doug Gerber, as well as a bag of potatoes. Gerber also donated $1,000 worth of gift cards for the families.

The Kiwanis Club’s holiday food drive is an annual event, said Dr. Richard Seibert, who co-chairs it with Armando D’Accordo, the club’s vice president. The canned foods and dry goods, which are collected by the Kiwanis and Calhoun Key clubs outside local supermarkets, go to families who have “fallen on hard times” because of a job loss or an illness, Seibert said. School social workers provide the families’ names, and Kiwanis volunteers deliver the food to their homes.

In recent years, Seibert said, Kiwanis has provided food for as many as 40 to 50 families, but this year, that number was cut in half. “The best thing is when I see a name scratched off the list,” he said.

The Calhoun Key Club also volunteered at Sunday’s event, putting together bags full of toys for donation to local families.

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