Sponsored by Walmart Distribution, the event brought together many families for a free meal, with all food items and gifts donated from various sources. Families were able to get salad, pasta, desserts, drinks and fruit, and children received free gifts from Santa and the 61 Walmart employees from the store and distribution center, according to Rick Alexander, HR manager from Walmart DIstribution.
"I worked in the school system and we just know there's a lot of need out there," said Julie Mitchell, who helped organized the event.
Mitchell got the word out about the event to the churches and students of North Putnam, sending letters home with students and keeping the community informed. Mitchell estimates that about 125 families were informed about the event.
"I had no idea what to expect," Mitchell said.
Walmart ran the event as part of their corporate program "Fighting Hunger Together." Over the next five years, Walmart wants no family to go hungry.
"Every store, transportation office and distribution office like ours is sponsoring an event like this," Alexander said.
The event also received a lot of help and support from Greencastle Sustainability, Whitestone Christian Church, New Winchester Baptist Church, Canaan Community Church, Bainbridge Christian Church, Bainbridge Improvement Society, Two Fish Food Pantry, Everlasting Foundation, Almost Home, Putnam County Kids Count, North Putnam Community School Corporation and Russellville Community Church. Mitchell hopes she can continue to organize this event again.
"It helps out quite a bit," said Larry Jackson, a Coatesville resident who brought his family to the event. "We couldn't decide what to do for dinner."