Christmas came early for the homeless and elderly as good Samaritans delivered 400 food parcels donated by the public to Santa and his sleigh.
About 30 members of Kettering Lions distributed on Sunday about £2,400 of food they had gathered using Father Christmas and his sleigh on six collections around the borough.
President John Gray, 62, of Isham, said: “Most of them said it was incredible. They were delighted.
“It not only means they are going to have some food and different items. It’s merely the fact that we turn up and say hi and leave them a note from Lions explaining what we are doing.
“It’s a different face for them to see. Some of them don’t see anyone for weeks on end.”
Each Lion took about a dozen bags, each with about £8 of food.
The group gave about 40 bags to Meals on Wheels and about a dozen to St Jude’s homeless drop-in centre in Northampton Road, Kettering. The rest were given to sheltered housing, including Grundy Court and Windsor Gardens, and other addresses to which the charitable group has been delivering for years.
Mr Gray said some of the regular recipients were waiting by the door as the Lions arrived.
Lions collected the food when they took mascot Lenny the Lion and Santa to Kettering Asda on November 19, Barton Seagrave on November 28, the Ise Lodge on November 29 and 30, Kettering Leisure Village on December 5 and Brambleside last Tuesday.
Lenny and Santa handed out lollipops and posed for pictures with children as the Lions loaded food parcels on to the sleigh.
Mr Gray said: “We are incredibly grateful to all the members of the public who donated food and cash we could put to our final shopping list.”
The Lions have built up a strong relationship with the town’s needy after 39 years of voluntary service.
After a busy morning packing the parcels and a busy afternoon distributing them, many of the Lions went to Kettering Athletic Club for a night of entertainment for adults with learning difficulties.