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Kewanee High School students giving food baskets to families in need

Over 750 families in the community will get a free basket with a ham, fresh produce, canned goods and more.

KEWANEE, Ill. — With grocery prices still high from inflation, hundreds of families in Kewanee will be getting some help with their Christmas dinner.

Kewanee High School students in the Key Club helped put together Good Fellows Christmas food baskets. The baskets are given to any Kewanee family in need that requests one, and people can nominate others as well.

Sixty high school students worked with the Kiwanis Club on Dec. 20, delivering baskets to over 750 families.

However, students from elementary to high school also helped sort and organize the goods, with as many as 150 students volunteering in a single night.

The public service is important to the Key Club's teacher advisor Amy Miler, who helped out the program when she was a student.

"My friends and I going around the community and helping those in need and seeing the gratitude on their faces was very memorable," Miler said. "I'm excited that I can gather students and help them have that key memory, and hopefully inspire them to do more acts of service in their future."

Around $25,000-$35,000 is raised each year to fund the program.

The baskets contain a variety of grocery items based on family size. It includes a large ham, potatoes, fresh produce, eggs, milk, plenty of canned goods and more.

Volunteer students said the best part of this work is having a positive effect on the community.

"I just really enjoyed doing it, and I liked seeing how happy people were when you help them out and just having a good feeling about helping the community," Key Club president Mya Mirocha said.

"I have two older brothers who were also a part of Key Clubs - so that's how I started to get into it," Key Club member Eleanor Burkhart said. "I really like seeing the joy on everyone's face when you get to help."

Kewanee senior, Harper Gillespie said even after she graduates, she'll come back and help with the food deliveries.

"We all have one goal, and that one goal is to help everyone else out," Gillespie said.

The Kewanee High School Key Club has been delivering Christmas baskets since the 1960s.

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