Rotary club of Carol Stream continues our Service of sharing with those in need during COVID-19.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The Rotary Club of Carol Stream continues to share our Service above Self by collecting food from a neighborhood food collection site to distribute through the local food pantry. 
Every year for the past 10+years, the club has collected food for those in need in our communities.  Over the years, it has grown from a few bags on mailboxes around 3 blocks to a 
community wide event, enlisting local churches, scout troops, clubs, schools, and grocery stores. All of the food and money collection is coordinated by the Rotary club and distributed to 6 local food pantries in the Carol Stream area.  In recent years, we have collected upwards of 7000 POUNDS of food for the needy.  Many local business and community buildings serve as sites for food dropoff.  Neighborhood collection coordinators help distribute bags on EACH resident mailbox within Carol Stream, then form teams to pick them up and deliver them on the collection day to the main collection point at the Glenbard North High School.  Rotary club members and friends of the Rotary club staff the local grocery stores for any donations made at the stores on the day of the collection as well. Individuals can do a "drive by donation" at the High School.  The collections from the area cease about 3:30 in the afternoon and then the food is arranged/sorted by table at the High School and the Pantries send over vehicles to be loaded.  Football players from the High School, scouts, church groups, Club members, and even our Mayor have helped load the heavy bags and cartons and boxes of goods into the waiting vehicles. 
We have braved beautiful sunshine, bitter cold, and even icy hail and snow in the past for this great cause.  This year we were struck down by an unforseen obstacle:  COVID-19.  To comply with national and local need for social distancing and safety for our community, the event was postponed until the future.  In spite of this cancellation, we still had a few sites and generous individuals wanting to help.  Deb Cartwright, our committee chair and organizer these past two years, joined by residents Jan Smith and Bunny Mirriles, filled Deb's private vehicle with food items collected by the Windsor Park residents since February.  Also, a generous monetary donation was received to benefit the Neighborhood Food Pantry. Carol Stream Park District has delivered food they have been collecting and storing as well.  
  In addition to the food drive, several club members have delivered some meals to the local Shelter for Homeless Veterans.  Elise Ciribassi cooked up a hearty bean stew and homemade seven grain bread, and Marina Mattingly arranged to drop off dinner to the residents of these homes.  In these times of need, a good cooked meal warms people’s hearts in various ways.
While the food drive has been cancelled at this time, we are still taking monetary donations for food pantries at this time (see the website for details).  Our club continues to serve those in need in good times and bad, and with high hopes that the world can return to normal soon.