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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Rotarians’ annual donation to Essex Area Food Bank exemplifies the spirit of giving this season

by Sylene Argent

This is the season to give, and the Rotary Club of Essex demonstrated that sentiment recently as they dropped off a large food donation at the Essex Area Food Bank to support this year’s Christmas Basket program.

  Rotarian, Neil McBeth, said the Rotary Club of Essex, with its partner Dillon Consulting, supports the Essex Area Food Bank’s Christmas Basket program every year, which provides a turkey or ham, potatoes, stuffing, fruit, veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce, and even a pie for clients in need of a little help preparing a special holiday feast.

  Because the Essex Area Food Bank is preparing fewer Christmas Baskets this year, focusing more on local need, McBeth noted the Rotary Club was also able to provide a $50 grocery store gift card to each family receiving a Christmas Basket.

  McBeth said it was important to the local service group to continue to host the donation this year, especially since it has been trying times for local families.

  Typically, during the holiday season, the members of the Rotary Club of Essex would walk the route during the Essex Centre BIA Santa Claus Parade, with shopping carts, to collect canned goods and non-perishable food items from attendees for the local Food Bank, but they will not be able to do so this year, with the parade cancelled, due to the Corona Virus.

  “It’s beautiful,” Gerry Belanger said, who is the Coordinator of the Essex Area Food Bank. The Food Bank’s clients are, “Overwhelmed when they get their basket. They are happy with it.”

  The Rotary Club of Essex also donates to the local Santa’s Cause for Kids toy giving program throughout the year, and is currently also participating in the region-wide Socks and Bottoms campaign. As part of this annual program, members collected socks, underwear, toiletries, sleeping bags, and warming items, such as coats, gloves, and toques, to distribute to those in need.  

  The Rotary Club of Essex, McBeth said, is planning to put children’s books inside the three local Little Free Library stations they maintain, including at the Essex Railway Station, the Essex Municipal Building, and Sadler’s Nature Park, closer to Christmas for local families to enjoy.


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