Ithaca Rotary Club members will gather at the Ithaca Farmers Market on three Saturdays, beginning Aug. 19, to collect produce donated by market vendors, purchase staples at a nearby grocery store and then deliver the food to ten local families.
The 17th Annual Rotary Harvest was featured in an article in Tompkins Weekly.
The Annual Rotary Harvest has served 123 families and 353 children since it began in 2007. Crews of Rotary members will gather donations at the market at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, Aug. 26 and Sept. 2.
The Rotary Harvest provides food to families who participate in the Ithaca City School District’s pre-K meal program, which is not available at the end of the summer. The project was founded by Heidi Goldstein, past president of the Ithaca Rotary Club who, along with her husband Jack, was an organic vegetable farmer and sold their produce at the Ithaca Farmers Market.
“I wanted to do a project that was ongoing and that would benefit children,” she said. “It’s a joy just being able to help people who want to do well, but don’t have access to everything we have.”
The program this year is funded by a $1,200 grant from the Ithaca Rotary Club, which pays for the grocery staples, including rice, pasta, chicken and more.
In addition to the donations of food, the club also supplies the families with books from the Family Reading Partnership, coloring books, crayons, and unique pillowcases made by Rotarian Sherry Haefele.