Niles Rotarians made a nice difference on Saturday, March 4th, 2017. They showed up to pack food for kids domestic and international. Each member paid $20 to help cover the costs of the food we packed and some contributed substantially more! Thank you – you know who you are.
Here you can see the Niles Rotary Crew at their food packing stations ready to get started!
Here is Sherry, our guide and the amazing woman behind it all. When she retired from banking, she wanted to make a difference and do something good, but never anticipated exactly how much impact she and this organization would end up having. The organization was started in 2010 and produced something around 130,000 meals. Below I will share a photo of their results in the last two years! It’s down right amazing!
The food that goes into these packages is really important because allergies, religion and nutritional value are important factors when considering international delivery. The organization is not a religious organization, but many of those heavily involved are faith driven folks, like Sherry.
The food we were packing today was going with a pastor from Castro Valley to the Philippines to be delivered by hand. There are many indigenous groups in Southeast Asia, that have always lived on the seas. In the Philippines as well as in other countries such as Thailand. These peoples, while not actually Thai or Filipino have lived along the coasts and survived by fishing alone. Eventually they began to build stilt houses along the beaches. This became problematic when the local governments began regulating and taxing these folks in the fishing industry. Even if they were not so much in the business of catching and selling their fish. In Thailand, these folks were banned from fishing areas they had been fishing for many generations when laws were passed to protect the seas and land near them as they became designated as national parks. This along with over fishing and the continuing contention in the South China Sea about fishing have forced these peoples to begin to migrate and become more permanent on land. They have become marginalized and now are the poorest of the poor. Our project today was to send food to these people in the Philippines.
Here Sherry Higgs, Director of Drivers for Survivors, is busy putting labels on the food packaging in preparation for our assignment today. Jeff Schinkel arrived early and was promptly put to work in effect serving two shifts. The Niles Rotary Crew was also complimented with a few other groups including a birthday party of tweens, a group from a high school in Danville and another church related group. All in all, we packed 13,500 meals between all of us. That’s pretty amazing, right? Think how many stomachs that will fill?
We felt great, had fun and then went out to enjoy the Pleasanton farmer’s market and broke bread at Nonni’s in old downtown Pleasanton. Good times, good people, good work! Make sure not to miss the next Niles Rotary Community Service Activity coming up in April. We can always use helping hands. As Sherry of Kids Against Hungers said so aptly as she taught the youth at the end of the project “Many Hands Makes Light Work”. Thank you Niles Rotarians!
Article Contributed by Paul Andrus, Community Service Chair