Stratford’s Rotary Club has been meeting locally for over 90 years, and is a dynamic group of business and community leaders that come together to make a difference to our community and abroad. We are part of an international family of 1.2 million members belonging to one of 34,000 clubs located in almost every country of the world. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
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NEWS FROM OUR CLUB
Food Security Partnership Established
The Rotary Club of Stratford (Rotary) is excited to announce a recently established partnership with the United Way of Perth Huron and the Local Community Food Center (The Local).
Rotary has committed $1,000 a month for the next 3 years (36 months) to be used by The Local to acquire fresh, healthy staples that will be distributed across 6 local food banks. Rotary believes that by driving collaboration amongst the food banks, efficiencies in cost and service levels can be achieved. With 11% of Perth County residents reporting a lack of access to sufficient food, and 12% living below the poverty line, Rotary felt compelled to understand how it could make a meaningful impact in an acute local problem. Already a supporter of regular food drives, the Rotarians sought to understand the underlying nature of the problem.
Rick Orr and Jim Hayes led Rotary’s research into the issue, and reported to the club that the weekly cost to feed a family of 4 has skyrocketed in the last 5 years by almost 20% to $191. This increase in costs is unsustainable for many families, and food banks have become a bridge when household incomes are insufficient to meet the need.
Rotary was particularly drawn to The Local’s model of food distribution, using bulk purchasing power to make healthy options such as vegetables and meat available to the distribution centers. Their mandate of addressing the underlying issues of chronic hunger, poverty and poor health, was also of critical importance to the partnership.
“I am proud of my fellow Rotarian’s commitment to the issues facing our community. It is exciting to fund infrastructure investments or projects focused on underserviced or international populations, but it is critical that we also address the sometimes invisible but very real issue of poverty and hunger among our neighbors”, shared Rotary President Charlene Gordon. Ryan Erb, Executive Director of the Perth Huron United Way echoed Gordon’s sentiment, stating “Rotary’s commitment to this important aspect of community health gives us a real chance to make impactful change of a growing problem”. Following today’s signing ceremony of the MOU (see photo attached), Steve Stacey, Director, of The Local shared his excitement. “We are incredibly grateful to Rotary for reaching out partner with us on this project. This funding will greatly enhance our ability support the food banks in Stratford with healthy food through our Storehouse distribution service. It is an unfortunate situation where the pressure on the food banks continues to increase in Ontario and Canada. Until we are able to eliminate poverty it is important that we support low income families with quality food that promotes their health and dignity.”
Meetings are held Thursdays,12:00PM: at
Kiwanis Community Centre
111 Lakeside Dr,
Stratford, ON N5A 7K5