One of the main focus areas of Sturbridge Rotary is helping to reduce hunger in our local communities. This is the 12th year Rotary has supported donating funds to provide Thanksgiving baskets to those in need. The Tri-Community Church Collaborative serves up to 300 families each year with Thanksgiving dinners. They formed when the Food Share Program had to give up providing turkey dinners due to lack of funds and volunteers. The Tri-Community Church Collaborative first formed with eight churches but currently has only three churches helping in their effort. Catherine Chernisky is shown with a big check for $500 presented by Rotary Club secretary, Bob White. By looking at the photo, it appears Rotary chose the tallest member to present the biggest check to a short woman. As you can tell, they had a lot of fun and laughter trying to get the photo set up. When all is said and done Catherine, just remember, you don’t have to be tall to measure up! Rotary commends you for your work to help the food insecure.
Besides supporting the Thanksgiving turkey program, Sturbridge Rotary also donates funds for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the “Lisa’s Kids Program” at Burgess Elementary School in Sturbridge.
Rotary also formed the Rotary Community Corps with the Southbridge Rotary Club and created the all-volunteer program, the Community Food Collaborative (CFC). The goal of the CFC garden was to grow fresh, organic vegetables and donate the entire crop to the Saint John Paul II Food Pantry. In the 2018 growing season, they donated 1,524 pounds. The CFC doubled the size of the garden and in the 2019 growing season, donated 3,107 pounds with all of the work performed by local volunteers.