Our 2014-15 ‘Pocket Change for …’ beneficiary

Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 3.10.31 PMBy BILL DOWD

According to the organizations that keep track of such things, milk is one of the essential foods, especially for children, that seldom is donated to food pantries across the nation.

The reasons are many — storage problems chief among them — but the need remains as this brief video explains.

Thus, our “Pocket Change for … ” beneficiary in the 2014-15 Rotary Year will be The Great American Milk Drive. I have personally donated the first $100 to get the drive started.

Last year, my predecessor instituted the president’s choice “Pocket Change for …” program to benefit a different effort each year. The inaugural recipient was the Wildwood School’s autism program. I hope our president-elect, Terry Brewer, will enjoy making his president’s choice next year.

In addition to the video, if you go to The Great American Milk Drive’s website you’ll find further details on the program, including how to track donations, a continually-updated counter of how many gallons of milk have been donated nationwide, and a variety of videos and other pieces of information.

For example, as of today just 4,787 milk gallons have been donated to food banks in New York of the national total of 116,016 gallons donated. Imagine how much we can increase that helping hand with a concentrated effort through the beginning of June 2015.

As always, I thank our club members for their ongoing generosity and effort to improve the lot of people throughout the world.


Food drive deliveries near the final day

April & Food
Club President April Dowd arranges the latest load of donated non-perishable food items the club has been collecting, supported by the East Greenbush YMCA and East Greenbush Public Library.

Before we ring in the New Year, this joint effort will have resulted in hundreds of items being delivered to a trio of smaller food pantries in Rensselaer County that often are overlooked, particularly during the holiday season when the larger pantries get the lion’s share of attention and donations.

The drive is the second of four quarter-long service projects the club is holding in thre 2013-14 Rotary Year. The first was the book drive that collected in more than 600 new and like-new books for children and adults that have formed the core of the library at the new Unity House family services building in Troy.

Food pantry recipients selected for ‘Cans In a Box’

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 3.39.33 PMWe have selected three local food pantries — geographically situated to cover as much of our club’s “sphere of influence” as possible — as recipients of our “Cans In a Box” food drive.

They are:

• The CEO Food Pantry in Troy, which serves much of southern Rensselaer County.

• The Anchor pantry of Cooperative Christian Ministries of Schodack in Castleton.

• The New Hope for Life Ministries pantry in Nassau.

The drive, assisted by the East Greenbush YMCA and East Greenbush Public Library, resulted in collection of the equivalent of 80 bags of groceries.

“Our thanks to all who generously donated, some of them several times, to this resumption of a drive we held several years ago” said SRC President April L. Dowd. “In America, no one should go hungry, so we probably will repeat the drive next year.”

‘Cans In a Box’ drive nearing its deadline

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 10.29.17 AMOur “Cans In a Box” food drive will be wrapping up next week — on Thursday, December 12, to be precise.

With Thanksgiving past, people tend to think less about hunger at the holidays, but it still exists.

We’re doing rather well in collecting non-perishable items for local food pantries, but we’d like to do even “weller.”

We plan to deliver the donated items the week before Christmas, so your continuing generosity would be welcome. If you have contributed but run out of ideas for more, click HERE for some suggestions.

The drive is one of our quarterly projects. The first was the book drive for Unity House that was an overwhelming success.