Hunger and access to good quality food continues to be a big issue in our community.  Fall River is among the ten poorest municipalities in Massachusetts, with some of the highest concentrations of hunger in the state.  In Bristol County, one in three children lives in poverty and one in five children is food insecure. 

Rotary has been working with many partners in the community to see and address this problem from many angles.  On April 28th we were volunteering with the spring clean up and planting at the Southcoast YMCA Sharing the Harvest Community Farm.  In 2017, this five acre farm grew and donated 94,260 pounds of fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables, an all-time record!  They also donated 28,500 eggs, nearly 2,400 dozen.  This was all possible because of a record-breaking number of volunteer visits: 4,300 total visits amounting to over 12,000 hours of service.

We continue to send a small but mighty crew each month to the Sacred Heart Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry at St. Bernadette Church to help prepare, serve, and clean up, all with a bright smile!  The Soup Kitchen serves between 150 and 300 individuals each week and has been in operation (at two different locations) since 2004.
And finally we had the pleasure of hearing from David Perry of the Greater Fall River Community Food Pantry.  The organization has been serving Fall River for 33 years, and this past year they moved into a new food pantry will has two walk-in coolers and freezers and more than a dozen tables set up with food staples.  Last year, the food pantry gave about 650,000 pounds of food to 4,000 individuals in 900 to 1,000 households.  Much of the food is from the Boston Food Bank, with other donations from Walmart, Target, the Boy Scouts, and other donors, including businesses and individuals.  Rotary was able to give $1,000 to support the good work of the food panty.