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Share needs help helping others
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‘Tis the season!

The season, that is, of finding your mailbox stuffed with year-end appeals from charities—and maybe some scammers.

But there is one solicitation that combats hunger and food insecurity among neighbors here in Warren County.  That’s Share A Christmas Dinner, now in its 42nd year of providing a gift of basic foods for families struggling with financial hardship, illness and isolation.

Letters from The Rotary Club of McMinnville, principal organizer and sponsor of the Share program, began arriving in mailboxes last week.  Even if you didn’t receive that mailing, you are invited to join in supporting the food benefit, said Chad Graves, project chairperson for the local Rotarians.

“We’ve set a goal of 450 boxes, which is pretty ambitious.  But we have indications of higher-than-usual need for this kind of food supplement,” Graves said.

The Warren County school system’s Family Resource Center, with financial help from a Bridgestone Tire grant, provided some 700 food boxes at Thanksgiving, he noted.   “We won’t be able to match that number in Share, but it suggests there is large hole in the social safety net when it comes to meeting the food needs in Warren County.

“The poverty and hunger in our community is mostly invisible to most of us,” Graves observed.  “But government research shows that 74 percent of Warren County students meet the federal guideline for being classified as living below the poverty line.

“At the same time, records show that 253 of our students were classified as homeless under the federal definition in the 2018-19 school year.”

Inflation is taking a major bite out of family grocery budgets.   Food charities like Rotary’s Share are not immune to the impact of higher costs.

Each Share box costs about $46, even with a quantity-purchase discount, Rotary organizers say.   That’s up by several dollars from the average for recent years.  

Inflation, supply chain problems and labor woes have all impacted our grocery shopping.  In years past, a canned ham was a familiar staple in the box, which also includes eggs, milk, bread and canned vegetables. But a shortage of canned hams this year will be compensated in some cases by package of smoked pork chops, said Rotary member and longtime Share project leader Matt Hash.

Fully tax-deductible donations may be mailed to Noon Rotary at PO Box 7001, McMinnville 37111.  Checks should be written to the McMinnville Rotary Community Fund, with a notation on the memo line directing the gift to Share A Christmas Dinner.

Those checks may also be dropped off at Cleaners Express, Graves Family Pharmacy or any branch of Security Federal Savings Bank.

To make a donation online, go to and clicking the “donate now” button.