In 1982, the Rotary Club of Milwaukee established community food bank Second Harvest, now Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. The Feeding America warehouses in Milwaukee and the Fox Valley distribute more than 22 million pounds of food a year to 876 pantries, meal programs and other nonprofit agencies that serve 377,000 people in eastern Wisconsin.
Rotary has continued its strong ties with Feeding America since its creation. Each of Feeding America’s executive leaders has been a member of Rotary - Gwen McLean, Bonnie Bellehumeur and now Charles McLimans, the new Feeding America president & CEO. In addition, several Rotarians have served or are currently serving on the Feeding America board of directors. In addition, 11 of the 16 past chairs of the Feeding America Board were also Rotarians: Price Davis, Bernard Peck, Russell Boehm, Wesley Scott, Ed Heinecke, Richard Schmidt, Roger Dirksen, Daniel Switzer, Edward Heiser, Jr., John C. Walker and Jim Milner.
Done-in-a-Day organizes a Feeding America volunteer event each year. Past years have found Rotarians gleaning food from the Reinhart Food Show; most recently, over 20 Rotarians gathered at Feeding America’s Fond du Lac Avenue location in January to help sort food for the food bank.
In addition to sweat equity, Rotary’s ongoing commitment to Feeding America includes financial support. In recent years, we have leveraged our annual gift by making the contribution on the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Match Day. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation launched Match Day in 2012 to raise awareness and raise support for the organizations that serve our community. Each match day, contributions made online by individuals to a group of participating organizations are matched proportionately, based on the total amount raised by each organization that day.
Match Day 2015 will be March 19th - and the RCM Community Trust will again contribute $2,500 to Feeding America. Rotary is pleased to continue its partnership with Feeding America, begun over 30 years ago.