During the month of September, 60 Rotary clubs in Riverside and San Bernardino counties sponsored a “One Million Meals” campaign, encouraging inland residents to donate non-perishable canned goods or cash in support of food banks that serve the region’s less fortunate.
“The effort has been tremendous,” Sheryl Silver of the Palm Desert Rotary Club said. “And we will continue this campaign into next year.”
Silver couldn’t confirm whether the participating rotaries hit the one million mark, but she said that in some locations, donations poured in beyond anyone’s expectations.
“We’ve collected 86,000 pounds of canned food in the Coachella Valley alone,” she said. “Schools in Perris collected 5,000 pounds.”
Volunteer packers included around 300 school kids, some as young as 11 years old as well as Rotarians from around the district.
Collected items include jars of peanut butter, pasta packages, rice, beans, tuna and hot dogs.
According to organizers, the Inland Empire ranks No. 4 in “food insecurity” nationally because of the regional economy.
Food relief organizations deliver 300,000 meals a month to destitute families in the area, but that doesn’t meet demand, according to the Rotarians.
For more information on the One Million Meals campaign, visit http://rotarymillionmeals.com/.
(Information taken from Valley News,Saturday, October 6th, 2012, Issue 40, Volume 16.)