With just a few weeks remaining in the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive, more donations are needed to help the 15,000 families targeted to receive assistance this year. The food drive ends Dec. 22 in most areas.

“Donations have been coming in steadily, but we need more help to reach all those in need,” said Sam Anderson, director of consumer and community relations for Brookshire Grocery Co.

One of those donations came Tuesday morning from Larry Higgins of Hammond’s BBQ in the amount of $1,252.

Darrell Caldwell, who owned Hammond’s Bar B Q, started providing anyone in need of a free Thanksgiving meal in 1999. Judy and Larry Higgins and their family helped serve the meal that year. The Higgins continued the tradition after buying the restaurant in 2000.

The meal has always been free, but a tip jar accepts donations for the Somervell County Food Bank at the United Methodist Church, which collected up to $500 in previous years.

At the 10th anniversary of dishing up the tradition, the Higgins were able to give more to the food bank than in any other year.

“We more than doubled what we did last year,” Larry said.

More than 250 people were served and $1,252 was collected and donated to the food bank.

All food collected in the area will be distributed to families in the Glen Rose area. Local relief organizations and government agencies select families according to need for assistance by the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive.

Brookshire Grocery Co. will donate at least one roasting hen to each family assisted through the food drive. Last year the company provided more than 16,000 hens.

The Spirit of Christmas Food Drive began in 1982, when 92 families in Tyler, Texas, received assistance. The drive helps families in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi who need assistance during the holiday season.

Participating Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods stores, as well as service organizations, including Glen Rose Lions Club sponsor the effort.

To make donations, place non-perishable food items in the designated containers at the front of participating stores. Items in glass jars and homemade goods are not accepted. Bulk items, such as flour and corn meal, should be donated in smaller quantities.

Members of Glen Rose Lions Club will collect, sort, package and deliver the food to the recipients before Christmas.