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PHOTOS- * Rotary Exchange Student Aaron Stephens unloads Foodlink truck
* Newark Rotarians prepare food for distribution

“Service Above Self"’ is the motto that members of Rotary pledge to uphold. For some members of Newark Rotary, they have lived by those words for over ten years as volunteers for the Food Sense program.

The Food Sense program is a buying club allowing people to purchase quality food at a large discount. The food is provided by the Food Bank of Central NY on a monthly basis. The food must be ordered in advance and there are no income requirements. The food is ordered in ‘units’ which includes 12 food items including fruits, vegetable, meats, fish, and grocery staples. Depending on the size of your family, a unit of food can provide 3 or 4 meals. The cost of a unit of food is $15.50 and has a $25.00 value. There are also monthly specials offered at a large discount. Some examples of the monthly specials are 2lbs of beef patties for $5.25 or 5 lbs of American cheese for $9.50. The menu and specials change monthly.

About 18 months ago, Newark Rotary partnered with Catholic Charities of Wayne County to administer this program. Tim Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of Wayne County said, “This is an underutilized program. Although, anyone can order food, it is great for the elderly on fixed incomes or single moms because it allows them to spend money wisely. This is a feel good program and the response from participants is gratitude and appreciation.” Helen Jones uses the Food Sense program and said, “this has been such a wonderful program for me due to my income and health expenses.” Sarah Lawrence said “it’s fun to find new things each month.” If there is something in the unit that Sarah can’t use, she gives it to her daughter.

Sandy Thomas, office manager at Catholic charities takes the orders. You can view the current month menu at ccwayne.org. Orders must be placed and paid for in advance at the Catholic Charities office at 1141 East Union St, Newark. They take cash, money orders and food stamps vouchers.

Every month on pick up day at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Rte. 88, Newark, 12 – 15 Newark Rotarians unload the truck, box up the food and distribute the food. Pick up day is usually the 3rd or 4th Thursday of the month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.. Jan Hence, local real estate agent, coordinates the program for Newark Rotary and she says they even carry the food to the cars. “I am so grateful to both Catholic Charities and the wonderful Rotarians who deliver to me. I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet if it were not for you wonderful angels,” said Collene Coccia.

Rotarian, Steve Taylor from North American Filter Corp. donates and delivers the boxes every month. Jan said “even when Steve is on vacation, the boxes still show up!” If an order is placed by someone unable to pick up the food, due to age or disability, Rotarian, Linda Werts will deliver. Linda has been delivering Food Sense orders for many years to about 12 customers each month. Deborah Glover would not be able to utilize the Food Sense program without a delivery.

If you would like to place an order, call or stop by Catholic Charities of Wayne County, 1141 East Union Street, Newark, 315-331-4867. To find out more about the Food Sense program ask a Newark Rotarian.


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