MORRISTOWN (WATE) - For many children, Easter wouldn't be complete without a basket filled with candy, but for some low-income families across East Tennessee, that's not always a possibility.
Thanks to a Hamblen County nonprofit, more than 600 children got a visit from the Easter bunny Saturday, receiving free Easter baskets stocked with toys, stuffed animals and of course, lots of candy.
"I got a basket with a bear with a basketball. And some Peeps. Oh peeps. I like peeps," said 10-year-old Justin McAmis of Morristown, surveying the contents of his basket.
The baskets were provided by the Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation of Morristown, a nonprofit that provides free food, school supplies and toiletries to children from low-income families.
"It's all about the children. We try to meet those children's needs. Whatever that need is, we try to meet that need," said Tennessee Food on Foot Foundation President and Founder Carolyn Jarnagin.
Saturday's Easter basket giveaway, which included a free bag of food, is just one more way for Food on Foot to reach out to the little ones in their community.
"It's not a necessity. The Easter baskets are not a necessity, but it's just something we do with love," said Jarnagin.
Without the giveaway, many of the children wouldn't have received an Easter basket this year.
"I feel thankful for getting one because we don't have enough money," said Ebony Brice, 12, of Morristown.
The children and their parents lined up outside Food on Foot hours early, eager to get their hands on Easter treats.
"It's really awesome. It's not even cool, it's awesome. Just great," said McAmis.
All of the items Food for Foot gives away are made possible through donations from the community.
Despite the children's excitement, the Easter baskets mean just as much to their parents, who want their children to be smiling on Easter.
"The jelly beans and all that. That's what kids look forward to. I just think it's awesome. For a child to get it, it just lights up their face. Just makes them happy. I'm really thankful. Really thankful," said Shelia Penn of Morristown, who brought her two daughters to get baskets.
Food on Foot provides meals to local children all year long, totaling nearly 1000 every month, and they run entirely on donations.