Athens Kiwanis Club members are working to help set the table for those in need this holiday season.

Brookshire Grocery Co. began sponsoring the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive in 1982. In communities around Texas, the drive now helps about 16,000 households each year, providing about a half million pounds of food to people in need throughout the company’s market areas.

“The community can help participate by shopping at the local Brookshire's and buying one of the  pre-packaged bags of food to contribute to our drive,” Kiwanis drive Chair Carolyn Tyler said. “I encourage everyone to help support the food drive. It's an easy way they can help contribute and bless those less less fortunate than themselves.”

The Kiwanis hope to help at least100 families this year.

“This will provide them with their complete holiday meal, as well as provide some pantry staples to give them several meals,” Tyler said. “Even though it's the holiday season, they have to eat every day.”

Tyler said there's really no deadline for contributing.

“We're looking to distribute the holiday food boxes by December 19, however any of the food purchased through the Brookshire's pre-packaged bags or contributions of money that come after that date will be given back to the club for use in future food drives. We've also created another partnership with the Henderson County Help Center. They are helping us to select families to help bless this year.”

In mid December, the Kiwanis will go to the Help Center to sort the food.

“Giving back to the communities that support our stores has always been central to who we are as a company,” said Brad Brookshire, chairman and CEO for Brookshire Grocery Co, when the drive was launched. “Supporting hunger relief is one of our primary focus areas for charitable giving, and we are proud to host the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive to help individuals who are at risk. With the generous support of our customers and local service organizations, we hope to assist 16,000 households this holiday season.”