The preacher stood before Dunsmuir Rotarians Wednesday morning and spoke of dire need.

“The community is hungry,” said First Baptist Church pastor Richard McCormack. “We have a problem of hunger here you wouldn't think you'd have in an industrialized nation.”

He told club members assembled for their breakfast meeting that the situation is literally a crisis, that he has never seen the need so great. And he asked the club for help funding the annual Christmas Food Baskets.

Before he left the room, club board members quickly convened in a corner. Within minutes, Treasurer Katie O'Grady emerged with a check.

Rotarian David Clarno, owner of Dunsmuir Brewery Works, offered another way to raise funds. He said that volunteers could serve patrons at the brewery and collect all of that day's tips for donating to holiday food purchases. “You could easily make $300-500,” he said.

The date was set for Wednesday, Dec. 14, any time during open hours, 11 a.m to 9 p.m.

McCormack told the Rotary Club that for the past two years his church has administered the Christmas Food Basket program in Dunsmuir. The first year they handed out 80 boxes of canned and dry goods, dairy and produce, sweets and meats. Last year they provided the same for 110 families.

“This year we've had 71 people sign up at the Community Resource Center already, and they haven't even sent out a notice yet,” he said. “We've received $150 in donations so far. We're going to need $5,000.”

He said that people wanting to sign up for Christmas Baskets can call the Resource Center at 235-4400. “Or have them call me on my cell phone,” he said. “They can ask for food or make a donation, or just talk.” That number is 859-0871.