Adam Sargen carries a Christmas tree Sunday for Lisa Biller, right, and her daughter Samantha, of Yoe, at the tree lot benefiting the Central Pennsylvania
Adam Sargen carries a Christmas tree Sunday for Lisa Biller, right, and her daughter Samantha, of Yoe, at the tree lot benefiting the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. The lot is behind Weis Markets on Cape Horn Road in Windsor Township. Donations of non-perishable food items for the food bank are welcome. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

Donna and Michael Grim walk up the rows in "Santa's forest," looking for the perfect Christmas tree to sit in their living room.

The first few the couple and two of their children -- Lydia, 11, and Caleb, 8 -- pick out don't pass muster. Michael runs his hands over some of the boughs, looking for a tree that holds its needles well.

Donna said the family has been buying their trees for three years from Glenn Olsen's Christmas tree sale, a lot that has between 700 and 800 trees for sale in the Cape Horn Square next to Weis Markets in Windsor Township.

Olsen, who started the sale 30 years ago to benefit area food banks, said he hopes to raise $3,000 in profits to go to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank this year. His other goal is to encourage people to donate at least four tons of food and frozen turkeys to the food bank. Food can be dropped off at the lot when people come to pick out their Christmas tree.

Grim said she likes that the tree her family is buying goes toward a good cause.

"We feel like we're benefiting something other than ourselves," she said.

The Grim family will take their Fraser fir to their home in Jacobus and decorate it for their whole family to enjoy, including four children who weren't along for the excursion. Grim said a family tradition is to finish off the decorations with the cake topper from their wedding 27 years ago.

Location: As the Grim family is decorating, Olsen will continue to post the 70 signs or so that advertise the sale. The "Santa's Forest" sign was posted earlier, and points to the lot off of Cape Horn Road.

Olsen said he enjoys using the Weis Markets lot as his base: The owner of the shopping center allows them to use the space and electricity for free.

And Olsen said he wants to keep building the base of returning customers, some of whom will go shopping at Weis and drop off four or five grocery bags full of food to donate afterward.

Olsen offers a variety of trees, including the Fraser, Douglas and Concolor firs at $6 per foot. The lot is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will close for the season at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Olsen said profits from the sale will go as a lump sum to the food bank, which works to supply food for 56 partners like churches and food pantries in York County. More than 15,400 people in York County are served by the donations from the food bank each week, a cause Olsen seeks to help with his work of selling the Christmas trees.

And even the leftover Christmas trees go to a good cause: Olsen donates any trees he doesn't sell to local goat farmers, who use the trees in the winter to feed their livestock.