By DAVE GORGON
For the Sunday Times
TAYLOR – Rotary Club members in the region are appealing to the public to donate during a food drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 27, at Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry, 25670 Northline Road.
The pantry provides food throughout the year to food insecure families and individuals in Taylor and the surrounding communities of Allen Park, Brownstown Township, Dearborn Heights, Romulus, Southgate and Woodhaven. Food drives help stock pantry shelves and are more important than ever due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Armando Sardanopoli, a past president of the Taylor Rotary Club, said Rotarians serving the communities served by Fish & Loaves are asked to spread the word to local residents to donate non-perishable food such as peanut butter; canned soup, stew, fruit, vegetables, fish and beans; pasta and rice. Food must not be expired.
Sardanopoli said Rotarians will be on hand to volunteer and collect the donated food at the pantry.
“These days, so many people are in need of food – even people who have worked all of their lives who suddenly find themselves temporarily or permanently laid off,” Sardanopoli said. “They have never needed to ask for food before, so food is in high demand.”
The pantry counts on donations, fundraising events, grants and volunteers, in addition to food drives, to provide food for thousands of people. Taylor Rotary has made donations in the past and members have volunteered in the pantry.
Sardanopoli said there are 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. The Taylor group meets at noon on Thursdays. Due to the pandemic, meetings are currently held via Zoom phone calls.
Rotarians have a history of doing good for the communities they serve, along with international efforts to help underdeveloped countries get clean water and other basic needs.
Mary Hollens, executive director of Fish & Loaves, praised Rotarians for making a difference in the Downriver area and Western Wayne County.
“Rotarians take the idea of service to new levels in their efforts to connect with communities and to help those in need,” Hollens said. “When Taylor Rotarian Armando reached out about a food drive for Fish & Loaves, the intent was to work collaboratively with Rotarians in all of our area communities served by Fish & Loaves. They are doing just that. Many Rotarians, like Vickie and Jim Perri, volunteer at Fish & Loaves weekly.
“Rotarians dedicate themselves to help in times of great need with food and nutrition insecurity in our communities. Thank you in advance to everyone who is able to donate during the food drive and throughout the year.”
Fish & Loaves is a non-profit 501(c)(3), faith-based, non-sectarian pantry – the largest client-choice pantry in Michigan. The pantry slogan is “ensuring no one goes hungry.”
People in the service area register to receive food on weekdays. In addition, a Saturday Fresh Market is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to noon, filling the need for fresh produce and basic foods such as eggs, milk, a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and other items.
For more information about the Rotary food drive, email Armando Sardanopoli at [email protected]. To learn about future volunteer opportunities at Fish & Loaves, go to the pantry website, www.flcfp.org.