The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 16, 2014

Rotary assisting local food pantries, kitchens

JOHNSTOWN — The Rotary Club of Johns­town is stepping up to help curb hunger.

In an effort to assist area food pantries and kitchens with costs, the nonprofit organization recently presented three checks of $600 each to the Salvation Army, West End Food Pantry and Christ Centered Community Church.

It has become a club tradition for the past several years to support these groups.

“Our club membership is honored to assist these organizations who do so much to help the hungry in our community,” said Karen Azer, club president.

“We know that their shelves have become empty during the holiday season, and we want to help them to restock and serve our area residents.”

Each January, club members hold their weekly meeting at two of the three venues they assist.

They receive an update on the activities each organization is undertaking to provide for those in need, learn more about what is needed in the community and plan for ways to contribute.

Food centers have been hit hard by cutbacks in state and federal funding, yet the need in the community continues to grow.

As a way to offset those reductions in financial assistance, Azer said the Johnstown Rotary plans to hold a food drive in March.

The group will collect canned goods and nonperishables for the pantries and kitchens.

“We are confident that the residents with means in our community will respond to our appeal,” Azer said.

“We learned that items especially sought after are condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and salad dressing, as these particular items are not eligible for purchase under the federal spending guidelines.”

Club members will be in area neighborhoods leaving paper bags for people to fill and will return later to collect the filled bags, which will be given to the food pantries and community kitchens.

For more information, call 533-6237 or 388-9622.

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/KellyUrban25.

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