PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — A longtime tradition in Paris, Illinois continues to provide holiday meals to local families in need.

It’s the Community Nurse and Welfare Association’s Christmas basket program. Charlotte Smith worked as a full-time home health nurse for 40 years before retiring last year. She says the effort started many years ago with just 10 food baskets.

“A lot of people [are] unemployed. We’ve got families and in years past, I’ll tell you, to see the little kids’ eyes light up when these baskets would arrive,” said Smith.

This year, the association is distributing over 300 baskets. They do so with the help of community volunteers like Pam Arrasmith, the owner of “Grab it Here” stores.

“With the tough times, you know, I feel like the last thing people need to worry about is a good holiday meal,” said Arrasmith.

The food baskets are supported one hundred percent by donations from the community.