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Shepherdstown Rotary sponsors local food donations

By Staff | May 8, 2015

On Saturday, April 25, the Rotary Club of Shepherdstown once again teamed up with the Society of St. Andrew to bring the Society’s “Potato and Produce Project” to Shepherdstown.

The Society is a faith-based, non-denominational, nonprofit organization that provides surplus and gleaned food to needy people nationwide through various programs. Its Potato and Produce Project distributes donated potatoes and other produce to local organizations, which in turn distribute the food free within their communities. In this way, the Society delivers millions pounds of produce to the needy each year.

The Shepherdstown Rotary Club has been distributing food locally through the program annually since 2007.

In this case, the society provided the Club with an 18,000-pound tractor-trailer load of bananas and plantains. These were perfectly good fruits that were commercially unmarketable due to size or slight blemishes. The load was dumped onto North King Street in front of Knutti Hall, and more than 50 volunteers loaded them into vehicles from local food banks, soup kitchens, shelters, church food pantries and other service agencies.

The volunteers included Rotary Club members; members of the Shepherd University Rotaract Club, a Rotary-sponsored service organization for students; other Shepherd students; and community members.

In all, 20 organizations in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle and nearby Maryland received bananas and plantains through this year’s effort. They included the following: Berkeley Senior Services, Boys and Girls Club, Caring Cupboard, CCAP Loaves and Fishes, Circle of Love, Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, Hedgesville Baptist Church, Jefferson County Community Ministry, Jefferson County Council on Aging, Kingdom Life Cathedral, Leetown Southern Baptist Church, Meals on Wheels, Morgan County Starting Points, Mountaineer Food Bank, Rosemont Grace Brethren Church, St. Luke’s Baptist Church, Salvation Army, The Spokes Program, VOW Ministry and the Washington County Community Action Council.

The Rotary Club coordinated this year’s effort in collaboration with the Shepherd University Office of Student Community Services and Service Learning.