Rotary seeks funding for free meals
April 15, 2009
SILVERTHORNE ” In response to job cuts in the community, the Summit County Rotary and the Elks Lodge joined together to put on a free dinner every Tuesday. The meal runs from 5-7 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne.
“We cannot believe the need,” said Deborah Hage of the Summit County Rotary Club. “We’re overwhelmed by the cross-section of people that are coming to dinners ” elderly, young, Hispanic, working adults, unemployed, people who are marginally employed. These are people who are underemployed and are not making it.”
According to Hage, well-rounded, balanced meals are offered. Two weeks ago, the Rotary served baked herb chicken, rice, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs for kids, tossed salad, coleslaw, potato salad, fresh fruit, breads, various desserts, coffee and milk. One-hundred-and-two adults and 89 children were served.
“People are coming that can afford to eat elsewhere, but they’re taking advantage of it,” Hage said. “We are thrilled when anyone walks in the door. We’re glad to feed them.”
Volunteers are always welcome at the dinner ” 14 people are needed for serving each week. Volunteers should arrive at 4:45 p.m., and they help serve and clean up. A few volunteers are needed on April 28 and June 30 for cooking ” They should arrive at 3 p.m.
Dinners are currently funded by a grant the Summit County Rotary received through its district offices ” that grant will go away June 30. The Elks Lodge provides the equipment and facilities.
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“Beginning July 1, we are on our own,” Hage said.
Summit County Rotary, after July 1, will host the free dinner on the first Tuesday of every month for a year. Gilchrist Catering will provide a meal for second Tuesdays and Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church will provide meals on third Tuesdays.
“We need someone to cover fourth and fifth Tuesdays,” Hage said. ” … The need won’t go away. We’re looking for restaurants, businesses and individuals who are willing to donate $400 for each Tuesday meal.”
Hage is also seeking grants. The Rotary raises money through its fundraisers. Local participation contributes to Rotary’s ability to aid the community.
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