Spokane Rotary 21 presented a $60,550 cash donation to Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest on Tuesday, September 22, 2020
A fundraising effort that began in April when many Inland Northwest residents experience COVID-related food insecurity – has resulted in a $60,550 cash donation to 2nd Harvest Food Bank.  
Spokane Rotary 21 presented a $60,550 cash donation to Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. A fundraising effort that began in April when many Inland Northwest residents experience COVID-related food insecurity – has resulted in a $60,550 cash donation to 2nd Harvest Food Bank. The story of how Rotary Club 21 was able to make such a large donation is a perfect example of how one gift can gain momentum, and continue to grow, even during a pandemic. 
Here’s the breakdown of how we reached $60,550:
$15,000 was a donation from Rotary 21 in April to offset emergency food costs. $15,550 was donated by Rotary members to match that initial donation – through the work of the Rotary Task Force, a joint effort between Spokane-area Rotary Clubs. $25,000 was a special grant from The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. This foundation freed up millions of dollars for grants in response to the pandemic, that could be requested by Rotary Districts. The District realized Rotary 21’s efforts were a perfect match for that grant. $5,000 was donated by the Youth Services Committee of Rotary 21, specifically for the Bite2Go program that feeds school children. Rotary 21 President Gary Stokes said he is very proud of how quickly the club responded to the needs of the Spokane community when COVID first hit.

“Rotary 21 has been helping our communities for more than 100 years,” Stokes said. “In these difficult times, this club has once again stepped up to provide real help for those who need it most.” 

The need for emergency food almost doubled in the first months of the pandemic. “Rotary 21’s donation comes at a particularly crucial time,” said Jason Clark, president, and CEO of Second Harvest. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in March, we have gone from providing food for 70,000 meals to more than 130,000 meals each day in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. We’re tremendously appreciative of not only this contribution but also Rotary 21s longstanding generosity.”

Cash goes a long way when Second Harvest goes shopping and part of the Rotary 21 donation made the purchase of 28,560 cans of vegetables or fruit, and 79,200 pounds of spaghetti, possible. Rotary District Foundation Chair Allan Davis was instrumental in getting Rotary 21’s grant request inline for the newly released national pandemic funding. “The waiting for approval was the hardest thing,” Davis said, about the application. “But it was worth the wait to learn that we were one of the lucky recipients and could give even more to Second Harvest.”

That $25,000 check completed the donation. Immediate Past President of Rotary 21 Paul Viren was at the helm when the fundraising efforts began. 
“Rotary is a group of local leaders who take action where there is a need,” said Viren. “Our impact in the community, in particular in partnership with 2nd Harvest, continues to make a difference in helping those families most impacted by the pandemic.”
About Rotary Club 21: The Club was chartered in 1911 and is one of the oldest in the world. With 250 members, it’s an active club that has continued its weekly meetings via Zoom since COVID hit. The club’s mission is to champion health, education, and peace through fellowship and service, and to use its resources – in collaboration with Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation – to make the local community and the world a
better place. Visit www.spokanerotary.com 
About Second Harvest: Second Harvest was founded in 1971 as a central warehouse for a handful of emergency food pantries in Spokane. Today, hunger solution centers in Spokane and the Tri-Cities supply donated food to 250 partner food banks, meal sites, and other programs—including its own Mobile Market free food distributions—to feed more than 55,000 hungry people each week in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Food pantries Second Harvest supplies have reported a 30 to 50% increased demand related to the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. For more on Second Harvest’s COVID-19 pandemic emergency response, visit 2-harvest.org/covid19.