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The Villages
Saturday, September 25, 2021

Villages Rotary Club makes helping local food pantries top priority

The Rotary Club of The Villages – Evening has made helping local food pantries a top priority.

Club President Gay Ratcliff-Seamens and Karl Keri, liaison for the Rotary Interact Club at South Sumter High School, recently paid a visit to Hope Ministries Food Pantry in Bushnell after learning that the facility was running low on food items with Christmas quickly approaching.

Rotarians Gay Ratcliff-Seamens and Karl Keri, right, recently presented Hope Ministries Volunteer Coordinator Tammy Jolly with a $1,000 donation for the organization’s struggling food pantry.

Hope Ministries Volunteer Coordinator Tammy Jolly welcomed the two Rotarians, gave them a tour of the facility and explained how they serve between 2,000-2,500 Bushnell-area residents per month. She said the pantry distributes food twice a month and the next time is just around the corner on Dec. 16, from 9 a.m.-noon.

“It’s hard to imagine how they will have these shelves filled and ready for so many people in need,” Ratcliff-Seamens said.

Added Keri: “As a Villager, I was not familiar with this rural community. All the food pantries need help, especially this one.”

The shelves were largely bare at the Hope Ministries Food Pantry in Bushnell recently when Rotarians Gay Ratliff-Seamens and Karl Keri paid the facility a visit.

This month, the Rotary Club has been able to donate $1,000 each to the Hope Ministries Food Pantry, the Christian Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul/St. Timothy’s in The Villages, the St. Theresa Food Pantry in Belleview and the Hope Food Pantry of Weirsdale. In addition, the club gave $700 to the Village View Church Food Pantry.

The last three food pantries mentioned above serve Summerfield and the surrounding area, which is home to the students of Harbour View Elementary School, a major focus of the Rotary Club of The Villages – Evening. For more information or if you would like to help, contact Ratcliff-Seamens at (863) 660-4933.

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