More than 380 central Ohio families received boxes filled with food and gifts last weekend through Boulevard Presbyterian Church's annual Community Christmas Package Project.

More than 380 central Ohio families received boxes filled with food and gifts last weekend through Boulevard Presbyterian Church's annual Community Christmas Package Project.

Church members and other volunteers put together the Christmas packages on Saturday and teams of volunteers delivered the boxes of cheer to the families on Sunday.

The project, which began more than 25 years ago, was originally designed to provide needy families with a meal for Christmas Day, Boulevard Pastor James Sledge said.

Since then, the scope of the project has evolved to provide families with an array of food items and toys for their children.

"We want to make sure the children have a toy for Christmas," Sledge said.

A $15 gift card to Kroger is also provided to allow the families to purchase a turkey or other main course for the holidays, project coordinator Becky Elliott said.

Small, medium and large boxes are packed, depending on the size of the family that will receive them, she said.

The shopping list for a medium-sized box includes one package of potatoes, one canned meat, one jar of spaghetti sauce, two cans of fruit, three cans of vegetables, four cans of soup, two jars of peanut butter, two packages of ramen noodles, one box of pasta, one box of cereal or oatmeal, three boxes of Mac 'N Cheese, a dozen cookies and one miscellaneous food item.

Food items are donated by church and community members and Rife's Market. Students at Stevenson Elementary, Edison Intermediate/Middle School and Boulevard Preschool also collect and donate food items, Sledge said.

Tri-Village Sertoma, Northwest Kiwanis and Tri-Village Lions Club have been longtime sponsors of the project, he said. Members of St. Luke's Methodist Church and Holy Trinity Methodist Church also participate in the project, which also receives support from Members First Credit Union, Schmidt & Associates and Boy Scout Troop 73.

"This is really a community project, not just a Boulevard Presbyterian Church project," Sledge said.

"When I first came here, I don't think I really appreciated how much this is a project where people come together as a community to help others during the Christmas season," he said.

"It helps us to do what we are called to do, which is to share the love of Christ with other people," Elliott said.

The number of families aided by the project seems to grow each year, she said.

The project receives names of families from four local agencies, Elliott said.