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Volunteers fill boxes with food to feed 400 families in Elkhart County

NOW: Volunteers fill boxes with food to feed 400 families in Elkhart County

ELKHART, Ind. - “It makes my heart feel wonderful,” Dominic Tinervia, a young volunteer said. 

Getting in the holiday spirit by giving back to those in need. The season will be a little brighter for 400 families in Elkhart County.

Dozens of volunteers with the Knights of Columbus gathered tonight to put together holiday food boxes.

“They started in 1994 just out of their house helping a few people on their street in their neighborhood,” Philip Kile, Knight of Columbus Member said.

What once was just neighbors helping neighbors, slowly grew into a community helping a community.

“I look forward to this. This is one of my favorite events to do every year,” Emily Tinervia, one young volunteer, said. ”It just makes me really happy knowing that all of this is going to someone else.”

“It’s great to give to people,” Lucie Tinervia, another young volunteer said.

“There’s just so many people that need help and if you can, why don’t you,” Michelle Hurtt, another volunteer said. “I came last year with my kids. We had a great time, so we’ll do it every year.”

Some are even making it a family tradition.

”I’ve been doing it since I was 9,” Connor Kulp, a volunteer said. “Keeping it a tradition so it’s a good thing to help the community and we’re happy to do it.”

The Knights of Columbus is a global catholic charity organization, their Elkhart branch puts on this event each year. They give the food-filled boxes to schools to distribute.

“We felt like the people who were at the different agencies or schools knew the people personally more than we did, and they would make sure the family got the basket,” Kile said.

This year, 400 families are getting 2 boxes and one 5 lb ham.

“Mostly things that would last the family a while just so they have something really good to eat on Christmas, but what about New Years’, what about the week after that,” Kile said.

There’s everything from cereal to pasta to peanut butter to chicken to even green beans. There’s actually 21,600 lbs of food that was boxed up today, equaling about $88 per family. And the food was all donated or bought with donated money.

Tons of volunteers showed up today, packing food into boxes and moving them.

“They obviously have a good flow here, you really get a sweat going when you’re doing this because they have a system, it works, they get things done quickly and it provides a lot of meals for a lot of people,” Hurtt said.

And for some, helping out packs a deeper message.

“I’ve been there. I’ve been a family that needed help so I understand what it’s like and people don’t understand how much a little bit goes a long way when you’re in need,” Hurtt said.

Today and tomorrow schools around Elkhart County will be picking up the boxes and distributing them to families in need.

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