Andy Lemmon, Regional Program Coordinator of the Mississippi Gleaning Network and head of its Society of St. Andrew spoke at the Rotary Club of Jackson March 19
 
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ROTARY CLUB OF JACKSON (RCJ) MEETING
Monday, March 19, 2018
 
Brooks Buchanan, Rotary president and assistant general council, C Spire, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.  The invocation was given, the pledge of allegiance and four-way test were recited, and guests and visiting Rotarians were welcomed.

Buchanan announced the Madison-Ridgeland Rotary Club had invited us to participate in their Run 4 Rotary 5k Run, 5k Walk and Kids Fun Run this Saturday March 24 at 8:00 a.m. at Renaissance in Ridgeland which proceeds will support the community and international projects of their club and of Rotary International.  Register at www.mrrotary.org  Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to run or walk the 5k with their families.
 
Rotary Leadership Institute will be April 7 at Holmes Community College in Ridgeland for all leaders and future leaders of Rotary.  For more information visit https://portal.clubrunner.ca/3868/Stories/2018-rotary-leadership-institute-scheduled-for-april-7th

The Rotary District 6820 annual conference will be held June 7 – 10 in Biloxi.. For more information go to http://rotary6820.org/page/rotary-district-conference-2018

Buchanan announced our club will have a social the evening of April 30 for fellowship and fun for all members and future members.  We do not have a meeting at noon that day because the Ag Museum is closed.  Time and venue will be announced. 
 
The Rotary Club of Jackson board of directors will meet at the Ag Museum next Wednesday, March 26 at 11:00.

Sandra Shelson, executive director of The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, introduced our speaker Andy Lemmon, Regional Program Coordinator of the Mississippi Gleaning Network and head of its Society of St. Andrew.  He showed a map which indicated Mississippians have food insecurity in most of all the counties, except Rankin County.  That means that by the end of the month people may not have enough food left or money to buy it, or they may live in a food desert which means they are not near a grocery store.  He found out his own neighbor has had to cut down on portions to have enough to eat. 

Since 2016, they have distributed five million pounds of food across our region, to 190 recipient agencies.  That is enough food to feed 41,000 families of four for an entire month.  Why is there so much good food available to glean and distribute to the hungry? Some of the reasons are: second and third ears of corn that do not bring the farmer as much money as the top ears on the stalk are not worth the time to pick, string beans that are the wrong size for the market, tomatoes that are too ripe, since they take so long to go from farmer to grocery shelf, sweet potatoes that grew into strange shapes, peaches and watermelons that are too big.  There are many reasons that fresh produce is thrown away or left in the field to rot.  This is where volunteers help by going into the fields to gather left over produce.  In 2016, with the help of 32,789 volunteers, SOSA put 81.9 million servings of fresh fruit and vegetables on the tables of people who are at risk for hunger across the U. S.  For more information to go www.endhunger.org or on Facebook see @gleanms or contact Andy Lemmon at 769-233-0887 or gleanms@endhunger.org