Rotary news: Earth Day cleanup cancelled (plus other events); Helping Food Pantry

by beth on April 16, 2020

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Above: The Rotary Club donated the big bins allowing the Southborough Food Pantry to still safely collect donated items (images from newsletter)

The Southborough Rotary Club sent out its April newsletter. It included the cancellation of three events. But it also shared some good news — the organization’s support of the Food Pantry.

Sadly, the pandemic forced the Rotary Club to cancel their annual Earth Day cleanup that would have taken place next week. The Department of Public Works had initially hoped that with Rotary’s help they could offer a safe, socially distant version of the annual roadside cleanup. The newsletter explains that it didn’t work out:

The 2020 Earth Day Cleanup is cancelled and will not be rescheduled for 2020. The club tried to revamp the approach to this popular town event to accommodate significant social distancing, but decided the event would still pose unnecessary risk to participants. The club looks forward to bringing back the fun in 2021! Special thanks to the Southborough Department of Public Works (DPW) for their help and advice for several weeks as the event was evaluated in light of COVID19 situation.

(Given it’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, it’s especially a shame. The Open Space Preservation Commission had also been organizing a “Planet Palooza” with special events at the Library in celebration. Obviously, that’s also not happening this month.)

Rotary’s 20th annual community Talent Show is cancelled. Some middle schoolers may be disappointed to learn that even if the school year resumes in May, the Rotary decided the time frame would be too tight for the show to go on this year.

Back in March, I shared that a member of Rotary had a special trip planned to Guatemala on March 21st. It’s not surprising to learn that the trip had to be cancelled:

CANCELLED – March – Rotary District 7910 Guatemala Water Service Project. Club member Christine Narcisse had her bags packed and was ready to go! Then the word came that the trip was cancelled due to COVID19 outbreak. Now the District 7910 team is researching whether or not the trip can be made this fall instead.

There is no announcement on whether or not the popular Food Truck festival will be held this year. (I’d assume that’s yet to be determined.)

In good news, here is more on the Rotary’s support of the Food Pantry.

With social distancing now so critical, the Southborough Food Pantry needs donations of food & supplies to be put in tote bins outside the pantry door at Pilgrim Church. The Rotary club was happy to donate a brand new oversize heavy duty storage bin that can hold more at once & handle inclement weather. This makes for quick socially distanced drop off! Pantry also has bins inside the entry way of St. Anne’s church which volunteers are monitoring for drop offs as well. The Pantry post frequent updates on needed items on their website and Facebook page. Note that per Board of Health, they must quarantine all donations off site for 9 DAYS before they can use them. So the sooner they receive items, the sooner they can pass items on to clients in need. Understandably, many people are hunkered down and not going out. But if you ARE going grocery shopping, and can snag any of the items on the Pantry’s list, they would greatly appreciate it!

Club members are still meeting weekly, just no longer at a cafe. The group is holding online meetings on Wednesday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 am. You can follow the Rotary Club or reach out to them through Facebook

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 JMO April 17, 2020 at 10:22 PM

You don’t need an organized event or a particular day to clean up around Southborough. Just grab a bag before you leave on your next walk. It really is a shame to see the garbage along some of the scenic roads in town.

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