Both Chad and I are very active members of our respective Rotary Clubs, as Chad is Chair of the Membership Committee for South Salem, and I am President Elect of the Downtown Club. While neither of us has been around long enough to have participated for 25 years, we’re proud of the fact that this year marks area Rotary clubs’ 25th year of collecting food and raising money for Marion Polk Food Share.
Some of the statistics concerning hunger in our own backyard are staggering:
– Over 16,000 children eat from an emergency food box in an average month
– 39,000 children in Marion and Polk counties are eligible for free or reduced price lunches at school based on their family’s income
– One in every five area households ate from an emergency food box at least once last year
– An average of 9,440 families each month accessed an emergency food box last year
Imagine 266 school bus loads of children in our community eating from an emergency food box in an average month.
Rotarians in Salem and the surrounding communities are doing something about it. Over the past 24 years, Rotary has raised over 4.2 million pounds of food and $960,000 cash to support Marion Polk Food Share in their effort to end hunger.
Should you wish to help, our office serves as a drop site for food donations during the month of March. Feel free to drop by in support of your community. For more information about this year’s Rotary Food Drive, visit http://marionpolkrotarydrive.org/.
– Barry Nelson