Members of the Maryville Fire Department donated approximately 20 complete Christmas meals to local families in need.

photo submitted by Phil Richabaugh: Members of the Maryville Fire Department and their families who met to pack Christmas meals for families in need this season were, front: Collin Underwood, Phil Richabaugh, Corey McVinua, Blake Wallace, Shanna McVinua, Jackson Nielsen; middle: Thomas Shuffler, Jace Pine, Kim Campbell, Morgan Wheeler, Rick Redden; back: Jim Wiederholt, Shaun Wiederholt, Bryan Arnold, Brandon Jensen, Aaron Saxton, Nathan Luke, Greg Nielsen and son, Gavin, Steve Bliley and Kyle Wallinga.

Maryville Hy-Vee donated the food to the department at cost. Each meal consisted of mashed potatoes, ham, green beans, stuffing and a pie.

The meal distribution is something the department has done for the past decade. Each year, they donate 20 to 25 meals.

“It is a way to give to the community that supports us,” Maryville Fire Chief Phil Richabaugh stated.

Throughout the year, people often give the department monetary donations as a part of their gratitude for the service firefighters provide. They use those funds to purchase the food for the Christmas meals.

When the firefighters deliver the food, they also change the batteries in smoke detectors and install smoke detectors if needed.

Families are nominated for the program by Community Services, Inc., and local churches.

“It is a small way to pay it forward a little bit and to say thank you,” Richabaugh said.