Glenside Rotary Club delivers food to 75 families of Cheltenham School District

Every year the Glenside Rotary Club hosts a Thanksgiving food drive for the families of students within Cheltenham School District.

The district locates families that may need assistance over Thanksgiving, a search which includes all of Cheltenham’s elementary schools, middle schools, and high school. Students collect the food, and Glenside Rotary provides the turkeys.

This year, 75 CSD families received two bags of non-perishable food and one medium-sized turkey, all of which were distributed mid-day on Monday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Melrose Park, with leftover items donated to New Life Presbyterian Church’s Food Cupboard, in Glenside.

The drive is organized primarily by Steve Vahey, a Glenside Rotarian, and his wife, Helen. Jennifer Mosher, Home and School Visitor with Cheltenham Schools identified the families needing food.

“It’s an ongoing event every Thanksgiving. We’ve been running it close to 20 years with Cheltenham School District and the Glenside Rotary Club. We had other organizations join us, the Glenside Parade Association, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Knights of Columbus, St. Luke’s Church,” Vahey said.

New Life’s food pantry received six boxes of leftover, non-perishable food. Students from Arcadia and PSU Abington helped get the boxes into the pantry. It is not the work, noted Jeff Frazier, a fellow Rotarian and church member: that took all of five minutes. 

“It exposes these (mainly) college students to the simple fact that food needs to be collected from relatively wealthier folks to then give to people who cannot afford as much. Sometimes that divide is very fluid,” Frazier said. “People who have been hungry at some point(s) in their lives understand what hunger is far more than those who maybe missed lunch but still can afford to have gotten it.”

The perishable food collection was sorted into bags and took place on Sunday morning at St. John’s. At least 40 volunteers, including Abington Commissioner Matt Vahey and CHS principal Jimmy D’Andrea, sorted and distributed the food. 

Bill Marren (left), Steve Vahey and Jennifer Mosher (right)

“We got volunteer distributors to come at noon on Monday and everybody was on the road by 12:30,” Steve said.

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