By LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
The members of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos offer sincere thanks and encores of applause to the more than 80 volunteers who helped us pack 35,328 servings of pasta and tomato sauce on Saturday, Sept.17 for The Food Depot food bank in Santa Fe for our Club’s third Meals of Hope project.
In celebration of Rotary International’s Service Week, Sept. 11-17, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos invited local Kiwanis and Lions Clubs to join us in an even broader community-wide effort. We extend special thanks to their members and to Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road, whose administrators Kirk Christensen and Victor Rutherford generously arranged for us to use their large basement workspace. The church has opened its doors to this project each year since 2020.
Our thanks would not be complete without a standing ovation for the LAHS Interact Club, Rotary’s teen service organization. More than 30 enthusiastic members shared their Homecoming Weekend with us to help alleviate hunger among our neighbors in Northern New Mexico. Their team spirit energized all of us!
To start at the beginning, the dry food in bulk was purchased from Meals of Hope (MOH), a Florida-based food-packing organization that “inspires and empowers communities to come together to end hunger,” and was delivered on the 16th. After packaging on Sept. 17, the food was picked up by The Food Depot on the following Monday. The individual bags, each containing servings for six individuals, will be distributed to Northern New Mexico food pantries, including LA Cares.
The steps in between included packing MOH-provided plastic bags with seasoning packets and pre-stamped cooking instructions and nutritional information. In assembly-line fashion, the bags then moved to filling stations where pasta and soy protein powder were funneled into them. Then on to weighing, heat-sealing, and labeling with provider information. Thirty-two bags were then stacked on counting templates and ready for packing into cardboard boxes. The boxes were taped and loaded onto pallets for pick-up. It was then just a matter of cleaning up the workspace.
As in years past, this project was funded by generous donations from the community’s annual support of our fundraisers, Crab Fest and Brews, Band and BBQ. Additional funding came from a Rotary District 5520 grant, a return on investment Rotarians made three years ago when giving to The Rotary Foundation.
The Club also received over $300 in donations from the public towards the cost of the project. Those who were unable to attend, but would like to support the work of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, are encouraged to make a tax-deductible donation to Los Alamos Rotary 1312, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, at PO Box 986, Los Alamos, NM, 87544. Please write Meals of Hope in the memo line.
As one Los Alamos resident expressed with appreciation, “We are often so isolated from all the people in town who really do need this help. Many thanks to Rotary for contributing to this much-needed service.”
And, we Rotarians thank all of you from Los Alamos, White Rock and Santa Fe, from Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, and other service organizations for your significant efforts to alleviate the hunger that touches the lives of so many of our most vulnerable neighbors in Northern New Mexico.
Rotary Club of Los Alamos:
For information about the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, contact Club President Alison Pannell, email@example.com. “The mission of Rotary is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, good will, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.”
Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos:
For information about the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, visit https://losalamos.kiwanisone.org/. “The mission of the Kiwanis Club is Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.”
Lions Club of Los Alamos:
For information about the Lions Club of Los Alamos, contact Club President Logan Craig, firstname.lastname@example.org. “The mission of Lions Clubs is to empower Lion clubs, volunteers, and partners to improve health and well-being, strengthen communities, and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants that impact lives globally, and encourage peace and international understanding.”