TRotary_New_DS300She Derby-Shelton Rotary Club partnered with other Rotary Clubs in District 7980 to distribute 23,000 specially prepared meal packages to those in need through area food banks. Rotarians from around the District took a bulk food delivery on February 20 at Wesleyan University in Middletown and worked together all morning to package and box the meals for delivery.

Rotary reached out to Valley United Way for assistance in helping with the distribution in the Valley area. United Way has had a long history of working on such projects dating back to the first Letter Carriers food drives and the Harvest House projects leading up to the Valley Hunger Study and the Valley Council for Health & Human Services Food Security Task Force.

With the Food Security Task Force already in place, coordinating the Rotary Project was relatively easy according to United Way President & C.O.O. Jack Walsh. “We’ve worked with Derby-Shelton Rotary Club and we’ve coordinated the logistics for a number of special food drive events in the past, so this was a natural involvement for us. The Derby-Shelton Rotary Club does some amazing work in the area, and this project was a major success.” He also noted that the project addresses specific needs identified in the Valley Hunger Study and also fits nicely with the needs of the ALICE population identified in previous studies.

The Derby-Shelton Club was expected to be responsible for 2,000 of the meals. However, that number eventually grew to 12,500.Watch this video to see why and how Rotary undertook this project:

Valley United Way and the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club had previously partnered on the pilot project for the Grow Your Own Gardening project which will be in its third year this spring.

The Valley’s food banks along with food banks from all over the Rotary district picked up the food at Wesleyan and it is already on their shelves and helping those in need.

You can find lots of pictures on our Facebook page’s album.

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