'It helps make the holiday for some folks'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Cars rolled through one after another at St. Paul's Catholic Church Saturday, loading up with boxes and bags full of food handed out by eagerly awaiting Marist High School Students.

St. Vincent de Paul has been handing out these boxed holiday meals to Eugene and Springfield's less fortunate since 1953.

Those in line had picked up a ticket from a St. Vincent de Paul location. Marist High councilor Jerry Ragan said the person could then redeem the ticket at one of several Catholic churches distributing pre-packaged holiday feasts, stocked with enough fixin's to feed the whole family.

"It's absolutely rewarding," Ragan said. "It helps make the holiday for some folks."

Volunteer Max Bullock said St. Vinnie's has given away about 2,500 boxes since Thursday.

"The number is growing no question about it. It's kind of shocking when you think about it," said Bullock.

People can't apply for food tickets for this season's distribution, but those interested in helping the cause can drop off food donations at any St. Vincent de Paul location in Eugene or Springfield.