On Thursday, November 3, District 7470 held a "Kickoff" for a program scheduled for Saturday, March 19. This year, the Madison Rotary Club has invited the entire District to participate at Drew University on the selected date. The goal of the project is to "assemble" nutritious one-pot meals that the project directors can donate to soup kitchens, food pantries and other charities. The meals come in three varieties: macaroni and cheese, macaroni with tomato basil sauce, and rice and beans. Each package once assembled has six servings when cooked.
This sort of project has been floating around District 7470 for several years, first in Wallkill Valley and now Madison. Last year about about two hundred volunteers packaged about fifty thousand meals. The goal this year is for six hundred fifty volunteers to package one hundred and fifty thousand meals. This project is being financed by several entities in our communities. The organizers are also asking each club to donate $250.
The representatives of several clubs in Essex County each expressed very similar concerns. Included in the list of charities designated to benefit were the Salvation Army, the Table of Hope and the Market Street Mission. The Salvation Army labors throughout New Jersey, but the other two are Morris County concerns. None of the entities has affiliation with the charities that our Essex County Rotary Clubs traditionally support. It is our hope that our participation both financially and as volunteers with allow us input into the decision making process.