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Rotary plans March food drive to stock local shelves

The Rosemount Family Resource Center has a heavily used food shelf. The center serves 600 individuals a month, and volunteer coordinator Shira Rabinowicz said half of those people are children.

"Our shelves are empty," said Rabinowicz.

The Rosemount Rotary Club wants to make sure those people get the food they depend on. As part of its Fight Hunger campaign, the club will place boxes in as many Rosemount businesses as possible to collect food donations during the month of March. Rotary member Laura Briggs said the club wants to do a project that does real and practical good.

The food drive is being done in collaboration with Minnesota Food Share Month. Minnesota Food Share directs the largest food drive in the state during March. According to the organization's website, the efforts restock 300 food shelves statewide. To make the effort happen, it recruits thousands of congregations, companies, schools and civic groups to run local food and fund drives.

When they heard about Minnesota Food Share Month, Briggs said the whole club wanted to do something to participate. A speaker from Minnesota Food Share will attend the club's March 9 meeting to talk about the effort. Rabinowicz will speak at the meeting about the Rosemount Family Resource Center and its food shelf.

The resource center is a part of 360 Communities. The organization uses community engagement to positively shape communities.

Starting March 2 the club will put boxes in every Rosemount business that is willing to participate. Briggs said the club asked more than 250 businesses if they would be willing to participate. The club is asking Rosemount residents to donate any food item that they can. Briggs said the club hopes to raise at least 500 pounds of food.

"We have to start somewhere," Briggs said.

Rabinowicz said the food shelf needs any non-perishable food items including canned fruits, vegetables and meat, boxed meals and cereals. Additionally, Rabinowicz said the food shelf needs paper goods such as toilet paper and paper towels.

"It will help so many people," said Rabinowicz of the drive.

So far Briggs said community response has been good and they hope to get lots of donations. Going forward, Briggs said the club hopes to build on the campaign and make it an annual event.

Sterling State Bank donated the boxes for the businesses. Briggs said the club will decorate the boxes so people know what they are there for.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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