Lending a helping hand for the needy
Despite a brisk, autumn-like breeze and even a few snowflakes, dozens of volunteers descended on New Berlin Food Pantry Saturday to assist with the annual US Postal Service food drive. Over the course of seven hours, thousands of pounds of food was sorted and shelved for needy families in the area.
During the collection, which ran from 9:00 a.m. to roughly 4:00 p.m, multiple private vehicles and postal vans pulled up to drop off the many bags of donated food items. Volunteer "pickers" would sort the items into a multitude of trays and barrels. In fact, there was a receptacle for every type of food product (green beans, condiments, corn, cereal, and such). Once sorted by type, the food was taken inside for date verification and shelving. (Any food more than six months beyond its expiration date is discarded.)
By 1:00 p.m., the food pantry had received nearly eight tons of food. (Last year's food drive took in an estimated 34,000 lbs. of food.) A final estimate will be available later this week.
Rotarian Stephanie Friemoth shows other volunteers how and where to stack the crates of food. Each crate is for a specific food item and expiration year (peas 2017, for example). The food pantry also has a walk-in cooler for milk and other perishables they purchase throughout the month.
Sporting their Rotarian At Work safety vests are club members Melissa Palfery, Tom Fuszard and Art Angove. Rotarian Linda Joel and her husband stopped by, as well. But the sorting was all caught up at the moment, so they moved on. (It's the thought that counts, Linda!)
In addition to the postal service food drive, Rotarians assist with food sorting during the Weatherstone collection. Residents of the Weatherstone subdivision in New Berlin donate food items the first Saturday in December. These are two of the many ways Rotary Club of New Berlin gives back to the community.
New Berlin Food Pantry serves needy families in New Berlin, Elm Grove and Brookfield. Clients pick up groceries on Wednesday afternoon. Donations, both food and cash, are welcome from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday (the only day the food pantry is open).
UPDATE: According to Barb Jacob, Assistant Director, 28,500 lbs. of food items was donated during this drive. That's down from 2015, but last year's collection was a record. "I didn't expect to repeat that," Jacob says. This collection should last six to eight months.
In addition to Rotarians, members of New Berlin Eisenhower's football team, Greendale High School students and Boy Scouts from Troop 53 were among the many volunteers who helped out.
Donations are always welcome. The food pantry is particularly interested in canned goods (including meat products) and cereal. Cash is helpful, because the food pantry buys milk and eggs weekly. They cannot accept fresh fruits and vegetables, Jacob says. Remember that New Berlin Food Pantry is only open on Wednesdays. For more information, call 262-789-8040.
Getting ready for World Affairs Seminar
Three very enthusiastic student-candidates to Rotary's World Affairs Seminar visited us on April 28 to share their thoughts.
Representing New Berlin Eisenhower are Nathan and Drisya. Illsia and Madeline from New Berlin West round out the four student-candidates attending WAS.
All the students are excited to attend WAS. Nathan loves science and is particularly interested in how water and science tie together. He wants to know what can be done to protect this precious resource. Drisya is excited to absorb what she learns and pass on the valuable information to peers and others. Illsia is looking forward to meeting other students and working on the various projects. (Madeline was unable to attend our meeting.) Our club is sponsoring two students; the school district will sponsor the other two.
World Affairs Seminar
is an initiative of Rotary District 6270, which comprises most of the clubs in Wisconsin. These events are designed to create global leaders and citizens through an international seminar with an innovative, rigorous program. The course is held at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and involves high school students from across the US and around the world. The theme for this year's program, which runs June 21 - July 1, is "Water: A Global Resource to Share and Protect." This is the fourth year that our club has sponsored students to WAS.
The students will be invited back after the program to discuss their experiences. We wish them well.
Also during this meeting, Tina Weiss, Executive Director of KIDS From Wisconsin, provided an update on this year's concerts.
The KIDS will perform 70 shows this summer. There was such an overwhelming demand for performances, Weiss says, that they had to turn away 12 show-holder applicants. Rotary Club of New Berlin is once again hosting a show. Our concert will take place at New Berlin West on Friday, Aug. 19. Ross Spadaro from New Berlin and Emily Watt of Waukesha will be the show's "local" KIDS. Music selection will include Penatonics, Swing Jump & Jive, current hits and a tribute to Stevie Wonder.
Tickets will be available for purchase on our website soon.