Posted by Roger Rollins on Nov 27, 2015
A little history:  The Rotary Club of Athens has been hosting Food Baskets for the Community for at least 9 years.  Susan Urano started with food baskets sponsored by Rotarians and Kroger at Christmas time served to families in conjunction with The Salvation Army.  Since 2008 it has been Thanksgiving Food Baskets sponsored by Rotarians and Walmart for families in conjunction with The Athens County Children's Services (ACCS).  Twenty-seven  families were served in 2008 and it grew slowly to 32 families in 2012.  In 2013, we applied for, and received, a matching grant of $1000 from our Rotary District which, with the help of donations from Rotarians and Walmart, allowed us to serve 50 local families in conjunction with ACCS.  Last year, 2014, we received a $500 matching grant from our Rotary District, and $500 from our Rotaract Club which, with the help of Rotarians and Walmart, allowed us to serve 50 families with ACCS.
This year there were food baskets for 50 families (through ACCS) funded by a $500 matching grant from our Rotary District, over $1,200 in donations from Rotarians (envelope passed at lunch meetings), and $250 from Walmart. 
The Community Service Committee is responsible for spear-heading this project.  Tom Pyle, the current Chair of the Committee, and Betsy Baringer coordinated the details for this year's project (Betsy has been involved with this project for several years).    Besides fundraising, organization, and scheduling, this project requires allot of carrying and packing.  Many volunteers are needed and many thanks go out to all those who answered the call.
   On Sat. (11/21/15) Betsy Baringer and Tom Lazear picked up boxes from Walmart to store-overnight at the OU INN.  On Sun. (11/22/15) Betsy Baringer, Tom Lazear, Mary Diles, Ron Luce, Amrit Singh, Sheila and Max Mark, Sarah Baker, Tom and Kris Pyle, Dave Diggle and 10 volunteers from our Rotary Interact Club got food from Walmart, stored perishables in OU INN refrigeration, packed non-perishable items in boxes and decorated the boxes. 
On Monday morning (11/22/15) Betsy Baringer, Bruce Ergood, Cathy Hill, Dick Hogan and 6 additional ACCS workers moved perishables from OU INN refrigeration, and finished packing the 50 boxes.  They moved the packed boxes to cars for delivery.  
Thanks to Betsy Baringer and Sarah Baker for the information and photos in this story.  You can see more great photos of Rotarians at work on this project in the Thanksgiving 2015 Food Baskets photo album.