WATERLOO – It is known as “the club that cares.” Waterloo Rotarians have made their mark in the village, working on the Habitat for Humanity house, Red Cross blood drives, producing the Pumpkin Express, and donating funds to Rotary Clubs in New York City and New Jersey to help fellow Rotarians recover from Hurricane Sandy.
And this week, in keeping with a treasured Waterloo Rotary tradition, the club held its fourth annual Harvest Food Collection. The late Carmen Speno always asked his fellow Rotarians to celebrate his birthday by giving food to the Community Action Program’s food cupboard.
On Monday, Speno would have observed his 94rd birthday, and his fellow Rotarians celebrated by gathering bags of potatoes, onions, squash, beans and other food items.
Chair Kathy Sigrist celebrates a successful Food Harvest Collection. For the fourth year, Rotarians have donated hundreds of food items to the Community Action Program food pantry.
“We have promised to collect at least one food item for CAP for each year of Carm’s life,” said Kathy Sigrist, who chaired the annual collection.
But Rotarians didn’t stop at 94 food items. This year, they donated 485 items, including cases of canned vegetables, jars of spaghetti sauce, bags of rice, packages of toilet paper, sanitary items, boxes of sugar, bags of frozen vegetables, sacks of apples, and boxes of mac and cheese.
“This food will feed a lot of families,” Rose Rathbone said. “We are seeing more families than ever.” Rathbone said CAP feeds more than 100 families, or nearly 500 people, each month at the food pantry at 23 Center Street.
In addition to the Rotarians’ gift, CAP received 61 Thanksgiving baskets, including turkeys, from the Waterloo school district students and staff, allowing CAP to make sure Waterloo families in need have a happy Thanksgiving.
Rose Rathbone, director of CAP, with some of the nearly 500 food items Waterloo Rotarians donated to the agency’s food pantry in memory of the late Rotarian Carm Speno.
Rathbone said she appreciates the Rotarians’ year round giving spirit. “Thank you also for working at the annual school supply distribution and the winter coat distribution. Thanks to your help, we were able to serve 200 children at each event, a record,” Rathbone said.
Contributions of food, household goods and gently used clothing are always welcome at Community Action Program. For more information, contact Rathbone at 315-539-5647.
Waterloo Rotary meets at 6:30 every Monday at the Holiday Inn. New members and guests are always welcome.