Rotary club donates food to needy

Church food pantry runs bare

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Rotary Club of East Bakersfield donated hundreds of pounds of food to the Wesley United Methodist Church.

The club heard about the hunger need in east Bakersfield and answered that call to help.

"Usually by the end of the month, our pantry is like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard; it's pretty bare," said Pastor Karen Pugh of the Wesley United Methodist Church, referring to an old nursery rhyme.

The church helps the needy in the east Bakersfield community, and recently, that need has been growing.

"We have people come almost every day looking for help, especially towards the end of the month. We have families, we have single people. We have people who are living in poverty, people that are homeless," said Pugh.

The issue of hunger as a major need came to the fore front during a community assessment program at the beginning of the year. The rotary club began a dialogue about ways to help.

"When the subject of hunger came up, Pastor Pugh mentioned that one of her problems is that the pantry runs out of food quite frequently, and they have a difficult time meeting the needs," said Jim Williams of the East Bakersfield Rotary Club.

The rotary has helped to fill that need by collecting 287 pounds of non-perishable food in October that they donated to the church on Monday.

"We decided at that moment a food drive would be one of our priorities for this year for Wesley United Methodist Church," said Williams.

Many community outreach organizations say food donations have declined recently, but with the rotary's assistance, many will be fed through the end of the month through the church's food pantry program.

"This will be able to sustain us for quite some time, hopefully through the first part of December, along with the donations from our congregation," said Pugh.

The church's food pantry program depends on donations from the community to keep its cupboards full.

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