Deputies spread ‘Spirit of Christmas’ to hundreds of Bossier families

2099
Lt. Chad Madden delivers a food box to the Alford family as part of the Christmas Spirit holiday food drive. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Deputies from the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office delivered hundreds of meals to those in need on Tuesday as part of the annual “Spirit of Christmas” holiday food drive.

Meeting inside the Sheriff’s substation on Viking Drive, deputies loaded boxes of donated food inside of their units to bring blessings and holiday cheer to 400 residents in need across the parish.

One of the recipients of “Spirit of Christmas” holiday food box was Ronnie Alford and his family. Mr. and Mrs. Alford youngest child is two months old and is currently in NICU.

“I was not expecting this at all. It has definitely been a hardship. Sometimes you just need a little bit of help. This bring’s a little bit of hope to (us),” Alford said.

Area Brookshire’s grocery stores provided a coupon for a roasting hen in each box with food from drives held by students and faculty at Bossier Parish Schools, businesses, and community members.

BSO Posse members and volunteers prepare food boxes for delivery as part of the Christmas Spirit holiday food drive. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

The “Spirit of Christmas” food drive is part of Operation Blessing, a program run by the BSO to feed hundreds of people in need across Bossier Parish. 

“We are so blessed to have such giving people in our community who support Operation Blessing,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “Being about to make these special deliveries at Christmas time to our elderly residents and those in need is such a tremendous honor. We are truly blessed.”

Many schools in Bossier parish collected food for “Spirit of Christmas.”  Superintendent of Bossier Schools Scott Smith said sometimes the best Christmas present is having a good meal.

“It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to be a part of Operation Blessing for many, many years. Sometimes the best Christmas present for many, many families is just having a good meal on the table. That is what this is really all about,” Smith said.

The program helps the elderly, shut-ins and those in need throughout the year, but Tuesday’s delivery of the “Spirit of Christmas” food boxes is a little extra to ensure families enjoy a hearty meal this Christmas.

Operation Blessing began in 1998 and is a year-round food bank program that supports about 125-150 families each week in Bossier.