The poor in Iceland get cookies made by prisoners

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2010, 13:07 PM IST

London: About 1,000 cash-strapped families in Iceland have received unusual Christmas gifts from an unusual source this year - cookies made by prisoners, a media report has said.

Inmates at Litla-Hraun - the largest prison in Iceland - made 36,000 Christmas cookies early this week and donated them to a charity group as part of Christmas food distribution, Xinhua reported citing local daily Frettabladid.

The initiative came from the inmates themselves because they wanted to bring happiness to those in need during the holiday, the daily said.

"They are genius. They were like machines when the project was kicked off," prison kitchen superviser Eyrun Gudmundsdottir said.

"We worked around the clock for about a week and after that the place had been completely packed with cookies," he said.

The global recession wrecked Iceland`s economy, leaving many families with heavy debts.

Asgerdur Jona Flosadottir, chairwoman of the charity organisation Fjolskylduhjalpin, said the number of people seeking help from charities would continue to grow.

"More and more people have been struggling to make ends meet," she said.

Meanwhile, the government has also agreed to cancel its Christmas card distribution to citizens this year and give the money instead to charities for food distribution.

IANS