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Those in need get food and gifts as part of the annual Kiwanis Food and Toy Drive in Canby

Driving past the Clackamas County Fairgrounds on Dec. 14-15 it appeared that something big was going on. And there was. The Canby Kiwanis Club was passing out items to those less fortunate for the 60th annual Food and Toy Drive.

Santa Claus was there with Mrs. Claus to hand out candy canes. Boxes containing a ham, cereal and other non-perishable foods were placed on tables that stretched from one end of the room to the other. Upstairs were toys placed in huge bags that also stretched from one end of the room to the other with tables holding signs for various ages -- from newborn through 18 in case extras were needed.

It was an incredible set-up for the Kiwanis Club that had everything in hand and well-set up to make it easy on everyone.

CAROL ROSEN - Santa stopped by the Canby Kiwanis Food and Toy Drive this year to visit with the children.

"It's not just the Kiwanis Club, this is the entire community's drive," said Sharon Schneider, chair of the event, who noted a strong volunteer turnout.

While Dec. 14 was the gift and food box pick-up day, Dec. 15 saw volunteers arrive at 7:30 a.m. to begin delivery of items to people that were unable to come to the fairgrounds.

Bob Hill was in charge of the food. His first business was collecting 375 empty banana boxes to hold the donated food items in.

Cutsforth's helped provide the hams at a discount. The other foods included boxes of cereal, at least 200 five pound bags of rice and jars of peanut butter along with lots of soup.

"We started collecting at Halloween and kept food stored until after Santa's Breakfast on Dec. 8, when we began to move in here," said Hill. "The fair staff has been wonderful helpers getting things from the rabbit barn and bringing it here."

Much of the toys come from the money donated by businesses and people. Some books and toys are donated, but most are purchased, especially those for older children.

Three Kiwanians head the toy drive -- Laurie Harmon, Schneider and Ann McKinney start shopping on Black Friday.

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