Westfield RC learns about Food Pantry plans
Submitted by PDG Mike Hart (drmhart@yahoo.com

Past President and Westfield Rotary Club Foundation Board Chair Liz Ensslin introduced the speaker, Deacon Keith Gibbons. Keith and his wife both grew up in Westfield, and raised their family here. His wife and children all received Rotary Scholarships, and he was the paper boy for the previous Rotary Club Treasurer Jimmy Coventry.

Keith is a Deacon at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and is also the chaplain for the Westfield Police Department. He was speaking to the Rotary Club about the Westfield Food Pantry. They have filed 501c3 paperwork to become a separate agency. They hope to find a larger space to store the food, possibly in the Westfield Rescue Squad building.  The Rescue Squad is struggling because they do not have enough volunteers, so Keith thinks that a partnership with the Westfield Food Pantry may benefit both. The Rescue Squad is a 501c3 and owns the building they are in.

During the Covid shutdown the Food Pantry had to close because all of the volunteers were older. The Westfield Police Department helped staff the Food Pantry when they reopened.

There are three major food drives in Westfield: by the Post Office food drive, which has been suspended; the Jewish Temple Emanuel; and the Boy Scouts. The food is stored at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, for only up to 30 days, then sent to the Food Bank in Hillside.

The Rotary Club of Westfield does their part to help feed the “food insecure”.  They collect food every week and bring it to the St Joe’s Soup Kitchen in Elizabeth, NJ. In addition, the Rotary Club of Westfield has run the “Backpack program” for many years, through the schools. This program supplements the food given to the students on the school lunch program, which only feeds them during the weekday school days. The Rotary Club feeds them on the weekends and school breaks.

The Rotary Club meets three times per month on Tuesdays at noon. For information contact Secretary Dr. D. Michal Hart by email at drmhart@yahoo.com

Submitted by Ellie Benz (elb@elenorabenz.com


Scarecrows, scarecrows, and more scarecrows.  If you haven’t visited Branchville Borough during the month of October during the last six years, you have missed out on a town-wide event that makes the front page of the paper every year.
Our newest members, Jeanne and Brad Heinke have spear-headed this event since they instituted it six years ago.  Our club has been involved by creating a pumpkin head scarecrow that advertises Rotary and sits on a bench in the middle of downtown Branchville.
This year, we extending our participation by not only having our club scarecrow in Rotary regalia, we are also setting up a table in the town center and distributing free apple cider to the visitors to the scarecrow extravaganza on Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the cider table, we will be having posters about Polio Plus and a collection jar for donations to Polio Plus from the community.  It is our club’s small way to recognize World Polio Day.
Last, but not least, we are sponsoring a photo-bombing contest where we are asking attendees to photo bomb their favorite scarecrow and submit the photo to us.  Our tech guru will turn the photos into a slideshow and our members will vote for the winner at our October 29th meeting.  It is all for fun, but also to bring more awareness to the community about Rotary and our efforts to eradicate polio.
The Branchville Borough scarecrows will be on display for the entire month of October.
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