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Officers deliver dinner to families

Law enforcement helped local families in need on Thursday with an annual delivery of care packages.

About a dozen active and retired law enforcement officers from Suffolk and Isle of Wight County helped with the annual holiday food deliveries organized by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 41.

Lodge members and other volunteers delivered 20 baskets to 20 families in Suffolk and Isle of Wight on Thursday, according to lodge President Al Bremer.

“It’s people that need help at Christmas,” Bremer said. “This is what we try to do to make sure these people have something to eat.”

Each basket included a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, fruit, rolls and a pie.

“It’s all the fixings for a Christmas dinner,” said Suffolk Sheriff’s Deputy Sandy Toby.

This was the 22nd year the lodge organized deliveries to families in need during the holidays, according to lodge Director Allan Iversen.

The lodge partnered with Farm Fresh on North Main Street to fill boxes with Christmas dinner fixings. These were delivered to families nominated by Social Services, the Western Tidewater Community Services Board, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office and members who knew of people in need.

Five of the boxes helped families in Isle of Wight, Iversen said.

“If it wasn’t for us bringing them food, they probably would just be having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without the bread,” Iversen said.

Iversen, Bremer and retired Suffolk Sheriff’s Office Maj. Tommy Vann have been part of the annual holiday effort since they first started it 22 years ago.

Vann remembered when he delivered boxes to people’s homes in uniform when he was an officer. He recalled some recipients hugging him with tears in their eyes.

“When you see that, you know you’re really helping somebody,” he said.

Suffolk resident Alexis Cooper was one of the grateful recipients this year.

“It’s a blessing,” Cooper said. “I’m overjoyed, because I didn’t have anything. I’m very thankful for everything that’s been brought to me.”