By Amy Shane
COVID-19 slammed our country earlier this spring and as people of action, members of the O’Neill Rotary Club have answered the call. At a time when many community members have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced, food insecurity has become very real. The O’Neill Rotary Club became aware of an opportunity to leverage their funds to access matching grant funds from the Rotary International Foundation to help meet the need for a stable food source in two ways.
The club has donated $750, matched by an additional $750 from the Rotary International Foundation, to both the Meals on Wheels program and the O’Neill Community Food Pantry. The donation to the Meals on Wheels program will be used to purchase the disposable containers used to transport meals, as well as assist in purchasing the food used to prepare meals. Our local club members deliver Meals on Wheels regularly, and will be next delivering the week of June 8 – 12. This program, coordinated by Jan Mitchell and supported by Terra Buller at the O’Neill Senior Center, is a crucial piece of providing food stability to our elderly and other vulnerable community members.
The O’Neill Food Pantry has seen a dramatic spike in usage during this unprecedented time. The O’Neill Rotary Club will be purchasing needed grocery items from Super Foods grocery store; they are helping our donation go further by giving generous discounts on purchased items. A big thanks to club member Ron Anderson and his wife Pam, and O’Neill Super Foods, for supporting our efforts!! Rotarians Cindy Cole and Steve Lind commented on the wonderful timing of this grant opportunity. “Just when use of the Pantry is spiking, we are able to provide assistance to those struggling in our community!” Club members will purchase items for the May 21st Food Pantry, as well as the June 4th Food Pantry on the Mondays before the Pantry dates. Sheryl Cole, coordinator of the O’Neill Food Pantry, provided the Club with a list of the items most needed at this time. We want to thank Sheryl and her team for all of the efforts they put into ensuring food stability for the O’Neill and surrounding communities!
This project is part of a larger effort by Rotary worldwide in response to the pandemic. The Rotary International Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International and local clubs worldwide. Rotary District 5630 has granted $25,150 to be used throughout outstate Nebraska in is response to COVID-19 and the pandemics impact on its communities.
Rotary’s motto is “service before self” and this is just one example of how Rotarian live that motto. The O’Neill Rotary Club meets at noon on Tuesdays (virtually via Zoom during this time), but typically at The Evergreen Assisted Living. We would like to invite all community members that want to make a difference to join our Club fellowship. You can join by contacting Co-presidents Ron Anderson or Steve Lind, or any other Rotarian. Together we can make our community and our world a better place! You can learn more about Rotary at www.Rotary.org .