We are partnering with "Feeding Westchester" which supplies 95 percent of all food distributed annually across our county's food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and day-care and residential programs. Through its membership with Feeding America and Feeding New York State, Feeding Westchester has access to millions of pounds of food products that national companies donate. Feeding Westchester also helps people learn to shop, cook and eat healthy on a limited budget and advocates for the preservation and improvement of the public "safety net" programs that provide life-saving food to struggling families. The scope of this project is to provide funds to purchase foods for needy families.
After funds are raised, Scarsdale Rotary Club will have a Day of Distribution where we will either package or sort the foods our donation purchased at the main Distribution Center for Feeding Westchester, likely in Elmsford.
This project is aligned with the Area of Focus of Maternal and child health. Women in this country disproportionately experience hunger and poverty. 34.9% of homes headed by a single mother live below the poverty line, compared to 24.9% in 2018, and 14.9 percent of homes headed by single fathers. 24.3% of families headed by a single mother were food insecure. (Food Research and Action Center)
Our Club expects to have no difficulty raising $2000 for the project, based on widespread support for Feeding Westchester among the club's members and our executive board, as well as our success in past years, when we surpassed our own goal and raised $5000 through contributions by community members and club members alike. On August 24, 2021, Karen Erren, the CEO of Feeding Westchester, was a guest speaker during our club meeting. She explained how Feeding Westchester operates, who they serve, and how they have managed to increase their distribution of food to meet the rising levels of food insecurity during the pandemic. It is possible that we will raise additional funds to expand the scope of our participation. The project is expected to begin in early December 2023 and we expect to raise $2000 from donations by members and community members through direct appeal by April 2024.
It is planned that members of the Scarsdale Rotary Club will participate in an in-person service opportunity to assemble bags of food for distribution in Westchester by June 2024.