Waterloo Rotary Aids Foodlink

WATERLOO - Nearly $1,100 was donated to Foodlink, the Rochester-based food cooperative, from the proceeds of the annual Rotary Rural Urban Dinner, said chairman Jeff Cassim.

Laura Sugarwala, Foodlink’s Nutrition Resource Manager,  spoke about how the food cooperative distributes food to outlets in Seneca County that help feed nutritionally needy people, including Seneca County House of Concern, Interlaken Reformed Church,  Cayuga/Seneca  Community Action, South Seneca Food Pantry, Solid Rock Wesleyan Food Pantry, Tyre Food Pantry, and backpack programs in Waterloo, Seneca Falls and South Seneca. Foodlink also works with Lakeview Mental Services, which provides non-emergency services.

Laura Sugarwala


Each dollar donated to Foodlink buys 2.3 meals, Sugarwala said. “With the money donated from Rotary, 2,530 meals for Seneca County are provided. Of the approximately 45,000 meals distributed through emergency food providers in Seneca County, this is almost 6% for the entire month.  Thank you.”

Doris Wolf, who introduced Sugarwala, said Trevor’s Gift presently is feeding 176 kids a week.  Now in its third year, the Waterloo backpack program has received financial support from Wegmans and NutriKids, which has underwritten a portion of the cost of the food packets in its first two years.  But Sugarwala said those grants will end this year, meaning that local programs will have to pick up the total cost.

Laura Sugarwala, left, and Doris Wolf, Waterloo Rotarian and founder of Trevor’s Gift Waterloo’s backpack feeding program.

Cassim said the funds donated to Foodlink came from the 50-50 raffle, with winner Suzanne Sinclair donating her half of the pot to Foodlink, and the sale of ads in the program book by the co-sponsoring service organizations: Farm Bureau, Lions Club, Seneca Falls Rotary, Waterloo/Seneca Falls Kiwanis and Waterloo Rotary.  There also were some private contributions in the basket, Cassim said.

Cassi thanked all the organizations for helping make this year’s 2013 Rural Urban Dinner a great success. The ‘Taste Of Seneca County ‘ featuring locally made cheese, ice cream, wines and beers was a real hit., he said.  He also thanked all who donated the nice door prizes. “We especially appreciated the great entertainment by the Cleavelands. The program by Ave Bauder and Judson Reid of Cooperative Extension was very informative and enlightening. And the best part was being able to make such a generous donation to Foodlink. With the help of many hands we had a very special event,” Cassim concluded.

Waterloo Rotary meets every Monday at the Holiday Inn at 6:30 p.m. Rotarians sponsor many projects that earn funds to support projects to make the community a better place. New members and guests are welcome.



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