Posted on Nov 15, 2021
Plano West Rotary Club (PWRC) did such an outstanding job supporting Plano ISD’s drive-through meal distributions during this past summer and the preceding school year that the school district has again asked for our club’s support throughout the entire 2021-2022 school year.
Rotarians James Thomas and Katherine Goodwin have returned as project leads in support of the meal distributions. Katherine is still responsible for managing the volunteers and project reports, while James again oversees the scheduling and relationship with Plano ISD.
PWRC assists with meal distribution at three Plano campuses – Armstrong Middle School, Bowman Middle School and Rowlinson Community Natatorium (next door to Williams High School). Volunteers serve once a month at each campus, and each service project lasts about 1.5 hours.
Project Leads Katherine Goodwin (left) and James Thomas (right) with fellow Rotarian John Stafford (center)
How It Works
At each campus, our volunteers gather meals together as directed by Plano ISD staff, and place the meals in vehicles as they move through the line.
At Armstrong Middle School, fresh produce, dairy products and pantry staples are provided by the North Texas Food Bank. The parent liaison and other school administrators are in charge of ordering the food and directing our volunteers. Armstrong teachers and staff also assist.
The parent liaison and staff there are familiar with the families coming through the line, so no paperwork is required at that time. Armstrong has been distributing meals for some time, and their drive-through distribution is widely known in the community.
At Bowman Middle School and Rowlinson Community Natatorium, our club collaborates with another service organization sanctioned by Plano ISD to distribute boxes of food pantry staples provided by Minnie’s Food Pantry. Plano ISD Student Services interns and counselors also assist at these two drive-throughs.
Minnie’s Food Pantry requires the gathering of recipients’ information at both locations to add the families to the food pantry’s outreach program. Once a family has been assigned an identification number, they no longer have to fill out a form when they receive food in the future.
Making a Substantial Impact
These drive-through meal distributions support two of Rotary’s Areas of Focus: growing local economies and supporting education.
Our club is helping Plano ISD provide these families with healthier meals as well as allowing the families to reallocate those dollars saved towards other living expenses. And because of our volunteers, more Plano ISD staff can continue to direct their attention to working with students.
The impact is substantial: From August through October, our club assisted Plano ISD in distributing a total of 19,600 pounds of fresh produce and pantry items, in addition to 520 boxes of pantry items. An average of 360 families per month have received food so far, and a total of 44.5 volunteer hours have been served by our club in these three months.
Plano West Rotary Club welcomes all Rotarians and non-Rotary volunteers to serve with us! Sign up here to help distribute meals on Nov. 15, 16 or 18, or find another service project that meets your passion.