Wheeling police officers spread holiday cheer, 'arrest hunger' for families in need

WHEELING, Ill. (WLS) -- The holiday spirit is in full swing in north suburban Wheeling.

The Wheeling Police Department isn't only working to keep streets safe this holiday season, but they're also trying to make the holidays a little easier for people in need.

"I thought 'what can we do for people in need that don't have enough to eat during the holidays,'" said Crime Prevention Officer Scott Laverd.

Laverd's idea helped launch "Wheeling Police Arrest Hunger" two years ago.

The donations come from customers at Jimenez Grocery and then get distributed across the area. Nearly 100 families benefit from the program.

"Everyday we try to do our part to help anyone in need and this is another way," said Pat Bedolla, Jimenez Grocery manager.

The overflowing box of groceries then makes its way to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Buffalo Grove, where needy families can come and receive a meal just in time for the holidays.

"As humans we need to help each other, so once you do it, you'll really feel good about it, because there is nothing like the happiness you get from giving," Bedolla said. "It's not so much as the recipient, it's the person that's giving."
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