Christmas in (almost) July for Local Food Pantries

Rotary Winter Wonderland Presents Checks to Local Shelters

Rotary Winter Wonderland has been entertaining thousands and helping local food pantries for eleven years, and this past holiday season was no different.

Earlier this week, checks were presented to Saint Vincent De Paul, Soup or Socks, United Way’s Nutrition on Weekend Program, and other participating pantries.

“Our summer ‘Christmas in July’ cash payments help them purchase perishable items and support operations until our next season,” explained Al Nystrom, event co-chair.

For their 2016 season, the event raised $23,000. That amount, plus an additional $17,000 carried over from the prior year, resulted in $40,000 donated to 25 area pantries.

“100% of all donations are either reinvested in the project or paid out to the food pantries,” said Nystrom. “We have delivered over 500,000 cans of food and over $200,000 to 25 food pantries since we began the project 12 years ago.”

With food pantries having very limited budgets, all food donations help pantries meet the needs of their patrons through the winter and spring seasons. The checks help carry them to the holiday season.

“Rotary Winter Wonderland puts food on the plates of those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Nystrom.

Volunteers are always welcome, and leadership is needed to continue the project.

“Our core group of leaders has been together for twelve years. We need to develop the next generation of leaders to keep project going for future generations,” said Nystrom. “We’d like to add some organizers for volunteer management, special events, and the build out of the display. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us through facebook or through our website.”

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