Christy McMillin Goodwin, of the Rotary Club of Front Royal, helps fill food boxes as part of the Doc Smith Christmas Basket Program.

The Rotary Club of Front Royal helped provide a traditional Christmas dinner to families in the Warren County area this past holiday season.

The organization announced in a news release that it had distributed 128 boxes of food for needy families during the 2019 holiday season, up from 120 boxes in 2018, through its Doc Smith Christmas Basket Program.

The program, which was started in 1916 by former Front Royal Chief of Police Edgar “Doc” Smith, provides basic food items for families in the community to enjoy a traditional Christmas meal. Food items that were included in this year’s baskets included ham, bread, stuffing mix and canned vegetables.

In an email on Tuesday, Doug Stanley, public relations committee chairman for the Rotary Club of Front Royal, stated that the program has been a great program for the holiday season.

“The Doc Smith project is a fantastic project for our community, helping those that need the most help at a time they could use it the most,” stated Stanley. “It is also great that we involve students from Warren County Middle and High School to expose those students to the needs in their own community.”

The Rotary Club has coordinated the program since 2003, taking over for local sorority, Psi Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority - which had coordinated the program since 1973. According to the release, the program typically aid 100 to 175 families throughout Warren County.

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