ROTARY HEROES PROJECT
Rotary honors citizens for pandemic food project
KENT – Approximately twenty individuals and organizations who helped collect, package, and deliver goods to food banks and individuals in need as part of a community effort to provide food security during the pandemic are being honored with “Rotary Hero” awards by the Rotary Club of Kent.
What started with an invitation from the Kent Community Foundation to join twice-weekly calls to identify issues and troubleshoot solutions evolved into Kent Community Partners, a group of Kent non-profits that joined forces to improve conditions during the pandemic, beginning with a focus on food security and personal hygiene, and then growing to include utility payments and rental assistance.
One such effort was “Frosty Village,” a nearly full-time effort that distributed 57,000 food boxes to families in need and 3 million pounds of food and hygiene products to 17 different food banks, religious, and non-profit distribution sites around South King County. In addition to established food banks, some organizations stepped up to host new food distribution sites or make deliveries.
“When the program started there were huge fluctuations in what was available,” said Dave Mitchell, Kent Sunrise Rotarian. “We didn’t know where it would come from or how much was coming.”
accesso ShoWare Center became a staging and distribution center, as well as a location for parking refrigerated containers needed to store the food. Every week, volunteers unloaded trucks and repackaged food for distribution throughout South King County. “Many thanks to the City of Kent and accesso Showare Center staff for their flexibility, patience and support. Frosty Village could not have happened without accesso ShoWare Center,” stated Kent Rotary Club President Kate Matos.
“None of us had done anything like this before,” said Kent Rotarian Kim Walley. “The people we met and were able to help were so thankful. It was the best experience I’ve ever had in my life.”
Although a total of 86 individuals and 53 local organizations contributed time, money, and equipment to Frosty Village, the honorees each stood out for their work and truly exemplified the Rotary motto of “Service above Self.”
“When times got tough this past year, these local leaders demonstrated a tireless, can-do attitude. Their enthusiasm, perseverance, and leadership has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Matos. “Kent Rotary Club is proud to be involved in this project, and celebrates all the individuals and organizations that came together to serve our community.”
Honored during an upcoming special, virtual Rotary meeting on February 2, awards will then be mailed or delivered to recipients.
In recognition of this and Kent Rotary’s ongoing community service, Rotary District 5030 honored the Kent Rotary Club with an award for outstanding service to the community. Two Rotarians who were instrumental in Frosty Village, Kim Walley of the Rotary Club of Kent (noon) and David Mitchell of Kent Sunrise Rotary, were also recognized by Rotary District 5030 with individual awards.
Kent Rotary Club congratulates all the honorees and thanks everyone in the community who helped – and continue to help – provide food security to our neighbors.
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The Rotary Club of Kent is proud to announce the naming of the following individuals as “Rotary Heroes,” for their commitment, dedication, and superheroic spirit to uphold the ideals of doing good in the world.
|George and Sue Adams
Community Volunteers (Kent Community Partners)
Kent Schools Foundation
Open Doors for Multicultural Families
|Liesl Kershner and Cass Laney
|The Carpenter Family
Kent Covenant Church
World Relief Seattle, in partnership with Hillside Church
Kent Food Bank
LARC at Kent
|David de la Fuente
Communities In Schools of Kent
Rotary Club of Kent Sunrise
Kent Community Foundation
King of Kings Church Food Bank
Kent Methodist Church/KentHOPE
Community Network Council
Kent AM Kiwanis
St. Stephen the Martyr Church Food Bank
Afghan Health Initiative
We Love Kent/Apartment Life
City of Kent
Rotary Club of Kent