Evanston police and community volunteers gathered this morning in the garage at police headquarters to assemble and distribute over 125 bags of holiday groceries to needy families and individuals around the community.

Some of the food bags waiting for delivery.

Officer Loyce Spells, an organizer of the drive, said police officers donated cash that was used to purchase the bulk of the food, including canned hams and other items, from the Sam’s Club in Evanston.

In addition, the program received donations from Becharas Produce and other local suppliers.

Volunteers from the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association and the community service program at Evanston Township High School helped assemble the gift packages.

Students and other volunteers surround Officer Loyce Spells, center rear.

Most of the recipients of the holiday baskets, Spells said, are senior citizens living in Housing Authority of Cook County developments around Evanston.

If you’d like to help with a holiday food drive, there’s still time. The mayor’s food drive is continuing to accept donations through Monday, with drop-off points at the Civic Center, the main library and all fire stations.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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