Rotary Clubs Respond to Community’s Greatest Need

It was late October when the newspaper ran a story with a picture that showed the Neighborhood Service Center’s food pantry and how bare it had become. That was the week the Rotary Club of Easton began their Annual Food Drive a little early. For most Rotarians, it perhaps would have been a drive a little better than last year as Rotarians always work hard to exceed former records, but the well timed photo in the paper was a really strong reminder that the canned food doesn’t just count as a pound of food, it is going to feed a family in our community. From there, the abundant hearts that characterize many Rotarians took off.

The Rotary Club of Easton began an annual food drive in 2009 and raised 800 pounds of food that year. In 2010, they took it to 3200 pounds. The total for 2011 is 18,426 pounds! “What this tells us is that, through a deepening relationship with the Neighborhood Service Center and its Executive Director, Sandra Redd , Easton Rotarians have gained more knowledge about the depth of need for wholesome food in our broader community and Rotarians have responded wholeheartedly. This year’s drive saw sustained participation, week after week, from October 28 through December 7. In many cases, members developed food drives at their businesses–since Rotary is a business organization–and that support increased our overall efforts many times over. Our single largest week brought in over 850 pounds of food. Finally, our newest Rotary colleagues, in the Tidewater Rotary Morning Club here in Easton joined in the effort and contributed 2600 pounds of food and food cash equivalent to the effort. All of this served to bring us to this level of support in 2011.” reported Patti Willis Easton Rotary President Elect and Food Drive Chair.

She further stated, “Rotarians are generous and community minded people who see challenges and find answers. Nowhere is this better reflected than in this year’s community food drive. I am so proud of these Rotarians and all they have contributed. We started out with a goal of 5000 pounds and quickly surpassed that. Every week, we set a higher goal and every week my fellow Rotarians exceeded that goal! What a wonderful group of business leaders we have in Easton’s Rotary Clubs.”

As a response to the Rotary’s efforts Sandra Redd of the Neighborhood Service Center said, “In one word, “AMAZING,”! “When I was contacted by Patti Willis about starting the food drive early this year. I never dreamed that 18,426 pounds of food would be the result. My heartfelt thanks go out to the Easton Rotary Club for making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.” For more information about contributing to the Neighborhood Service Center call 410-822-5015. For more information on joining the Rotary Club visit our website www.rotary.org or visit our fan page on Facebook, The Rotary Club of Easton, MD.

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