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Rotary Club repackaging initiative provides $13K of goods for families

A simple yet innovative repackaging initiative has fed countless families through Broomfield FISH, the organization said.
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The Rotary Club of Broomfield Crossing has purchased and repackaged more than 23,000 pounds of bulk items over the past seven months for Broomfield FISH.

The Rotary Club of Broomfield Crossing has purchased and repackaged more than 23,000 pounds of bulk items over the past seven months for Broomfield FISH, said Maggie Sava, a spokesperson for the nonprofit.

“Just that effort and that work that they put in to acquire all that food for us, and donate it, it makes a huge impact for us in terms of our purchasing budget,” Sava said. “And then the fact that they also package it and put in all of those volunteer hours to get it ready to go out to families, makes such a difference for us and saves us so much time.”

The initiative began after the local Rotary Club chapter adopted a shelf with Broomfield FISH before the pandemic and provided oatmeal to families in need, Sava said. The club would collect bags of oatmeal during its monthly meetings, but those were halted when the pandemic hit, no more oatmeal was coming in.

One of the club volunteers, Jeff Taylor, suggested bulk buying oatmeal in 50 pound sacks and repackaging it, said Gary McKee, member of the Rotary Club of Broomfield Crossing.

“Jeff Taylor’s idea for bulk food repackaging has worked out great,” McKee said. “We have expanded on his idea and have many Rotary Club members and friends who look forward to volunteering for this effort each week.” 

The local Rotary Club volunteers applied for and received a district grant from their organization to help purchase nearly $13,000 of items such as flour, rice, beans, corn flour, detergent, sugar and salt, McKee said.

“Members of the Rotary Club and others gather at the iPIE commissary kitchen in Louisville each week to repackage 600 pounds of these bulk items for Broomfield FISH,” he explained.

Club volunteers, along with members of the Colorado State Chapter of P.E.O. — a philanthropic educational organization for women — have put in more than 1,500 hours of service into the repackaging program, McKee said.

The Rotary Club’s district grant will continue the repackaging initiative through April 2023, and the club will then apply for a new grant to extend the program, he explained.

“Years ago we created our Broomfield Crossing Rotary Foundation, a 501c3, so we could raise funds and donations to help in our efforts,” McKee said. “This along with the strength of Rotary International, provides us with the capability to help others in need.”

The local chapter follows the Rotary Club motto ‘Service above Self,’ he explained. 

“We look for those in our community that share in our desire to serve others, and ask them to join us in our efforts,” McKee said. “Whether it be bulk food packaging for Broomfield FISH, volunteering hours and money to Emerald Elementary School, helping to sort clothes at A Precious Child…and many other projects that we are involved in our community.”

Community members can donate to the Broomfield FISH repackaging initiative by emailing McKee at toptrack@msn.com

“For each $50, you can receive a gift card representing a donation of a 50-pound bag of oatmeal or beans in honor of a loved one,” he explained.