goal of 25,000 meals to be distributed to area food pantries

West Bay Rotary to host inaugural meal packing event

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 12:00pm

CAMDEN — West Bay Rotary will be holding its inaugural meal packing event in partnership with Florida-based Meals of Hope on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Rockland Elks Lodge. 

West Bay Rotary is hoping to pack 25,000 meals to be distributed to area food pantries. 

The event idea came from Mike Moore, a summer member from the Naples North Rotary Club, who proposed the idea. 

Before Moore left for Naples, Florida last summer, West Bay Rotarian Etienne Perret and Moore held a discussion about holding a local event involving other Rotary Clubs for a community service project. 

“I have participated in several Meals of Hope packing events over past years and thought that would be a good event for West Bay to consider,” said Moore. 

Meals of Hope was founded by Naples Club Rotarian Steve Popper, with Moore noting Popper’s events are heavily supported. 

“Many groups come as teams, families come as a unit, organizations such as scouts, school classes, interact, ROTC, churches, government employees, etc. participate together,” said Moore. “Everyone has a great time; it’s social, team building and they feel good in knowing they are participating in helping those who are experiencing food insecurity.”

The goal of Meals of Hope meal packing events are to provide healthy meals that taste good and to make the meal packing process affordable and accessible to feed as many families as possible.

“We work diligently to source nutritious, non-perishable ingredients from trusted sources and establish long-term partnerships to keep pricing low,” the Meals of Hope website stated

Each meal costs the organization 25 cents. 

There are five meals Meals of Hope offers, though Popper recommended West Bay Rotary package and distribute only two meals, macaroni and cheese and pasta with tomato sauce. 

Those two meals are popular with food banks, Moore noted, since they have more than a two year shelf life. 

To coordinate the delivery of the meals to food pantries (there are about 20 in Knox and Waldo counties), West Bay Rotary has partnered with AIO Area Interfaith Outreach. 

Thus far, the event has 40 volunteers signed up which is only about half of the 75 volunteers they need. To volunteer, contact Etienne Perret at etienneperret@gmail.com or 207-632-4057. 

West Bay Rotary needs to raise $6,500 for the event and still needs approximately $1,000 to meet their goal.  

To donate, checks may be mailed to: Rotary of West Bay Charitable Foundation, PO Box 1033, Camden, ME 04843, with “Meals of Hope” as the memo, and credit card payments may be made by clicking here

If all goes well in the inaugural event, West Bay Rotary hopes to hold an Easter and Thanksgiving meal packing event in 2020. 

Reach George Harvey at: sports@penbaypilot.com