Santa in a Squad Car Graves sheriff's effort delivers donated items

ERIC WALKER/The Mayfield Messenger

Graves County Sheriff's Capt. Jeremy Price sets a box of donated canned food items on a pallet of other food at Mayfield-Graves County Need Line's loading dock Tuesday. Helping to gather the donations is volunteer Junior Toon, right. Donations of canned food and non-perishables, along with toys and personal items, were collected throughout November as part of the second Graves County Sheriff's Office "Cram the Cruiser."

More than 5,600 food, toy and personal items were donated during November as part of the Graves County Sheriff's Office "Cram the Cruiser" donation drive.

Graves County Sheriff's Capt. Jeremy Prince reported the effort collected 2,507 toy donations for the Community Christmas Connection, 2,317 food items for Mayfield-Graves County Need Line, and 822 items that were donated to Mayfield Lighthouse.

"We were able to collect a lot more than last year," Prince said. This was just the second year for the program.

"We're thankful," he added. "It helps others and it helps them."

Prince was referencing Need Line, where he and fellow deputies were unloading a trailer of canned food, drinks and other non-perishable items Tuesday morning.

Jackie Herndon, director for Need Line, said he appreciated all the hard work from the sheriff's office to gather and distribute needed items.

"They've got their hands full anyway, and now they do this too," he said.

Herndon showed several shelves at the South Ninth Street food pantry that were nearly bare. Herndon said the donated food items would help fill their shelves and ultimately fill grocery bags with food that will help provide a little extra sustenance to local residents, especially during this time of year.

The Graves County Sheriff's Office partnered with Dollar General locations in Graves County, where a GCSO cruiser was left at different store sites from Symsonia to Lynnville throughout November for donation drop-offs.

Eric Walker is the news editor for The Mayfield Messenger. He has also worked as a staff writer for the Messenger, editor for the Murray Ledger & Times, and in public relations. He is married with two sons.