TOGUS – Twenty volunteers and members of the Maine Law Enforcement Officers’ Association spent four hours Sunday afternoon filling 53 Christmas baskets with frozen turkeys, fresh vegetables, canned goods, breads and desserts to be distributed by member agencies to needy families in Maine.

“For the second year in a row, Christmas baskets were filled with a variety of food to be given out by Maine police departments and sheriffs’ offices to families that will have difficulty finding enough to eat on Christmas Day,” said Peter Mars, president of the association.

The nonperishable foodstuffs, which were gathered during the last week, along with perishable items picked up on Saturday, were placed in boxes along with 53 frozen turkeys.

Association directors Michelle St. Clair of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Sherry Truppa, former Kennebec County corrections officer, made the purchases. They were assisted by Ernest Lake, also from Kennebec County, Shane Cote from the Farmington Police Department and Chris Carson of Winthrop Police Department.

Police officers from the various agencies stopped by at the administration center at the Togus VA Hospital to pick up the baskets designated for their towns. MBNA volunteers Deborah Tewksbury and Carissa Carter from the Farmington Center began the assembly line for packing and distributing the baskets to the officers, who had lined up to receive the boxes allocated to their town.

Money was also raised from application fees for membership in the association.

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