Rotary, Hunger-Free Minnesota aid food shelf

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Richard Scott, president of the Waconia-West Carver Rotary Club, stands with Marty Cramer of the Waconia United Food Shelf. The Rotary recently provided a $6,000 donation to the food shelf. (Submitted Photo)

As part of a unique new partnership with Hunger-Free Minnesota, Waconia-West Carver Rotary has committed to fighting hunger in our own community. Hunger-Free Minnesota donated $40,000 to Rotary District 5950 (encompassing 63 clubs in central Minnesota and the Twin Cities), which then added $25,000 and split amongst 18 individual Rotary clubs, to be used to boost local food shelves’ capacity for storing and distributing food to needy families.
All told, community food shelves are receiving nearly $83,000 of support from Rotarians.
The Waconia-West Carver Rotary club received $1,000 from the District Rotary, which the club matched with $1,000 and the promise of “sweat equity” toward helping  the Waconia United Food Shelf. An additional $4,000 from Hunger Free Minnesota meant a total donation to the food shelf of $6,000.
The food shelf has been in existence for 10 years and is currently run 100 percent by volunteers.
“We are grateful to have this partnership with the Rotary and look forward to the projects we’ll be able to complete and the people we’ll be able to serve because of this,” noted Marty Cramer of the food shelf.
Grants cannot be used to simply buy food — the goal of the partnership is to increase food access for important demographic groups (i.e. families with children, seniors, the disabled and immigrant households) by expanding the capacity of neighborhood food shelves. Those food shelves agreed to sustain the project at least six months after the grant period ends. Currently the Waconia United Food Shelf services approximately 275-300 monthly.
“The district is thrilled to enter into this partnership with Hunger-Free Minnesota, which will engage Rotarians to make a real difference for their neighbors,” said Diann Kirby, District 5950 Governor. “This is a wonderful example of the powerful impact we can make when Rotarians work together with their communities to improve the lives of everyone around them.”
The Waconia-West Carver Rotary Club meets every Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 am.
“We always welcome new members who are interested in serving their community,” said current Waconia-West Carver Rotary president Richard Scott.
Rotary International connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries to improve lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org
For more information about the club’s latest project, contact Scott at rscott@waconia.k12.mn.us.

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