November 8, 2017

Meeting Recap
            Greetings fellow Rotarians! Our speakers today were representatives from the Heavenly Food Pantry. Housed in the First Congregational Church in Essex Junction, the Heavenly Pantry food shelf has been providing food and toiletries to people in need since 1998.  This organization is staffed entirely by volunteers and relies heavily upon the generous donations of Hannaford’s, local community members and businesses.  Over the years, the Food Pantry has gone from serving 468 people in its first year to its current average of over 2,000 people a year.  The Food Pantry has traditionally operated on the 4th Thursday of every month during the hours of 2:00pm to 6:00pm, however, they are pleased to report that they have now expanded their hours of operation to include the second Monday of every month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  By adding another date and time, the Food Pantry will now be able to reach a larger number of people in the community.  In order to adequately serve the local community, the Food Pantry limits its services to people from Essex, Essex Junction and Westford. In addition to needing volunteers to help staff the Food Pantry on their two nights of operation, they also need help stocking shelves and preparing the Food Pantry prior to their hours of operation.  They also welcome any number of food donations, however, they are always in particular need of basic toiletries and feminine hygiene products. As Essex Rotarians, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to help staff this food shelf once a month.  If you haven’t done so already, please consider volunteering for a shift at the Food Pantry to see for yourselves the amazing work they do.
Holiday Senior Luncehon
On December 6th, our Club will join forces with the Knights of Columbus to put on a holiday lunch at the Champlain Valley Exposition for over 200 senior citizens in the area.  Right now, we are looking for businesses and individuals to donate small items to be used in the goodie bags that we distribute to the seniors at this event. Examples of items include, but are not limited to, pens, note pads, refrigerator magnets, candy, etc . . . Please contact Lois Parmelee at for more information about this event.
Salvation Army Bell-Ringing
            Our Club has volunteered to cover Salvation Army bell-ringing shifts in front of the Essex Discount Beverage and the Price Chopper in Essex Center on December 8th and 9th.  A sign-up sheet is currently being circulated at our meetings and can now be found online.  Please sign up for a two-hour shift when you get a chance.
Heavenly Pantry Food Shelf
            The next opportunities to volunteer at the food shelf will be on November 16th and December 20th. Please let Sharon Dettenrieder know if you are able to volunteer for either of these shifts.
Upcoming Meeting Schedule:  November 15, 2017 –  Our speakers will be David and Linda Gilbert from the Shelburne-Charlotte Rotary Club.  They will be speaking about how the Rotary Foundation has helped fund the Hands to Honduras Tela program.  Please visit for more information about that program.
For the complete list of upcoming speakers and information about the Club, please go to our website at   Be sure to also follow us on Facebook at , on Instagram at and on Twitter at
       Yours in Rotary,
Jason Ruwet