April 28, 2020 Online Rotary Meeting

Sorry to hear that Shirley Moore fell and broke her arm. We all hope that your on the mend!
Today the Washington Rotary Club met again in a Zoom meeting online. Present were, in no particular order: Andrew Goudy, Joe Piszczor, John Hopper, Tom Drewitz, Dave Hart, Dave and Shirley Moore, Bill and Susan Price, Dorothy and John Tecklenburg,, Ken Baker, Mary Jo and Rich Podgurski, Bill Mesler, Kathy Sabol, Phil Rush, Carrie Richardson, John Quayle, Tom Northrop, Lars Lange, and Susan Priest.  Joining us was our speaker, Justin McAtee from the Greater Washington County Food Bank.

Getting Started

  • The meeting opened with an invocation by Susan Priest. This was followed by the salute to the flag.
  • The Prices informed us that we have received thank you correspondence from the Washington Health System, The Greater Washington County Food Bank, and from Rachel Gladden thanking us for our donation to the Washington County Community Foundation in honor of Tom Gladden.
  • Dave Hart gave information from the Salvation Army. They usually provide about 600 meals a week. They are now providing over 2,000 a week and anticipate continuing until the usual summer food programs kick in.

Happy Dollars (donors are on their honor to make good on these in the future)

  • Dave Hart is happy that the coronavirus did not start until the winter was nearly over. Dealing with all of this in winter’s bad weather would have been even worse.
  • Bill Price was happy to announce that he would be Washington later today dropping off scholarship applications. He also plans to check the Post Office box to save Dave Moore a trip.
  • John Quayle, who was having glitches shared through chat that he was happy that his daughter had presented him with a new grandson on April 17.
  • Dave Moore was glad that the bills for this quarter were out.
  • Bill Mesler was happy that his bill for the quarter was only $30.
  • Susan Priest was also happy for a smaller bill, but remarked that she will gladly welcome a larger bill when it accompanies the opportunity to have in-person meetings again. She is also happy to have learned how to add backgrounds to her Zoom presence. Today she was in a Breton fishing village, circa 1963. And finally she was happy for the warmer weather.
  • Mary Jo Podgurski is happy for her great group of peer educators who presented the first part of their program: Corona Connections, and for club members who attended last Tuesday. She is also happy for the large amount of art submitted for the Teen Center virtual art show on Zoom tomorrow at 7:00pm. Check out our website for a link to an invitation., or contact her. The second part of Corona Connections will be held on Tuesday, May 5 at 7:00pm.
  • Dorothy Tecklenburg was happy for Mary Jo’s last newspaper column about seniors missing prom and graduation. She sent to several persons the couple know who are coping with this.
  • Susan Price was happy that after spending quality time with Southwest Airlines, the Prices are not out any money on their cancelled plans to travel to the west coast for family celebrations which had been planned for June.
  • Carrie Richardson was happy for the great response to CASA’s virtual run/walk. Their biggest fundraiser of the year, a REAL run, had to be cancelled, but the virtual one is looking good.
  • Tom Northrop was happy to celebrate the 6 month birthday of his most recent grandson, and shared a lovely picture of the birthday boy.
  • John Hopper was happy that things are looking pretty good for his and Cheryl’s upcoming 50th anniversary.
  • Lars Lange was happy that he has used this time to explore Ten Mile Creek, and thanks to fishing videos he has been catching some fish. When asked about the chance of a Rotary Fish Fry, he told us he usually catches and released, but is beginning to keep the fish.
  • Phil Rush was happy that his wife Connie’s cancer surgery on April 6 went well, although he had to drop her off and could be there for her.
  • Joe Manning was happy to be among us, although he needed to leave early for a 12:30 virtual meeting with healthcare brokers.

Program: Greater Washington County Food Bank

Ken Baker gave a brief introduction for Justin McAtee. Justin is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan, and is the marketing director for the Greater Washington County Food Bank (hereafter referred to as the Food Bank to safe the writer’s fingers.) He is also senior regional manager for a golf ball manufacturer.  
Justin began a very effective PowerPoint presentation with a review of the Food Bank before Covid-19. The mission of the Food Bank is to provide lasting solutions for hunger security. They traditionally serve about 4,000 to 5,000 families and seniors. Thirty percent of the recipients are under 18, and twenty percent are 65 and older. They delivered to 21 senior facilities and 45 other distribution locations.
When the Food Bank moved from its old location in Eighty Four to its current location in Brownsville, its new facilities offered 24,000 square feet, a three-fold increase. 
It has four departments: The Food Bank, collecting and distributing food, Healthy Habits Training, the County Thrift Market, and The Farm.
The Healthy Habits Training program makes use of the space available to offer training, classes, and meeting space. There are two kitchens which are used for classes in healthy cooking and nutrition education. The meeting space is used for larger presentations and classes. This includes classes on hydroponics. The beekeepers group also meets there.
The County Thrift Market is not your average thrift store. Housed in an old grocery store space, it offers food items which do not meet the distributions guidelines, such as candy. It has room for furniture and major appliances. Its gross sales average $220,000 annually. 
The Farm makes use of the Food Bank’s 22 acres of property. They are used to grow fresh produce to be included in regular distributions, and to supply commercial outlets, such as the Century Inn.  They are ramping up their hydroponics growing from one unit to two. 
They envision that they can be an example to other food bank programs of how to enhance services beyond just handing out food.
Justin then moved on to share how things have been changed as a result of Covid-19.
In planning before the shut-down, the Food Bank anticipated a 50% increase demand, but the experience of Philadelphia, which was hit earlier than Western Pennsylvania and saw an increase of 200% had them return to their plans.
They dropped everything and everyone started packing boxed. 
Before the crisis, the Food Bank had already started a Truck to Trunk program, where people showed up when the regular deliveries were scheduled at a pantry and picked up their box. This cut time between the packing and the client. They realized that this was a perfect model for the crisis and just needed to be scaled up. Before March, 400 families were taking advantage of Truck to Trunk. This grew to 4.000 and is now 6,000 per month. All precautions are being taken: masks, gloves, a maximum of 9 volunteers.
The Food Bank also made adjustments and improvements to its website ( A way to give online donations was set up. Volunteers are offered automated forms to enroll and for scheduling. An on-line application for supplemental food assistance was added. During this time, the requirement for a signature is waived. Since mid-March they have had 800 new families sign up.
New are Virtual Food Drives. Money can be donated towards a goal of an individual organization. Remember that a $1 donation can buy about $5 in food.
The Food Bank has also seen a sizeable increase in access through social media. Posts usually used to get 600 to 800 views. Now the number can reach 16,000.
Truck to Trunk sites are published on the Food Bank website. They are serving their regular families and 709 new families. In addition, hundreds more walk-ins are showing up. They prepare as well as they can for more than expected. The motto is: “Nobody left out.”
In the ‘old days’ a distribution of 40,000 pounds of food a month was normal. In April they distributed over 175,000 pounds.


  • Tom Drewitz did not have a question but a comment: The way they have handled the amazing growth is great!
  • Are there supply chain challenges?
    • So far what they have seen is an increase in the cost of non-perishables. They still have not experienced bottle-necks. The large number of walk-ups does strain them since they are not sure what to expect. As things continue, they expect to have more data points to be more prepared. Fresh items are more of a challenge. These items come from food suppliers such as grocery stores. As demands pick up at stores, there is less to donate to the Food Bank. Meat is the most challenging.
  • Mary Jo Podgurski asked about getting teens involved in raising money. Justin told her that would great, just check out the website about setting a virtual food drive.
  • What are funding sources?
    • There is state funding augmented by local donations and grants. So far, they are meeting all expenses and planning ahead.
  • How to set up or donate to a virtual food drive?
    • On the web site, look for the ‘get involved’ menu. You will be asked a few questions and you can set up your organization’s virtual drive.
  • Dorothy Tecklenburg said that she had checked out various drives and looked for the ones which would match donations. The Washington County Community Foundation has set up a ‘Closer to Home’ fund which has already given over $300,000 to local organizations, including the Food Bank.
The meeting ended with the 4-Way test, which all recited.
Washington Rotary
We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
W & J College, The Commons
60 S. Lincoln St.
Washington, PA  15301
United States of America
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Upcoming Programs

May 05, 2020
Beds for Bondo
May 12, 2020
Rotary Foundation and You
May 19, 2020
Eating Local in 2020
May 26, 2020
Club Assembly
Jun 02, 2020
The Rotary Foundaton and Covid-19
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Birthdays & Anniversaries

Member Birthdays
Shirley Moore
April 1
Bill Allison
April 2
Andy Goudy
April 15
Lisa Moore
April 18
Joseph Manning
Lynn Manning
April 16
Join Date
Joseph Marsh
April 1, 1988
32 years
Warren Lemley
April 1, 1985
35 years
Philip Morrow
April 2, 2013
7 years
Bob Hollick
April 3, 1997
23 years
Liz Rogers
April 7, 2015
5 years
Gist Wylie
April 10, 2008
12 years
John Northrop
April 19, 1960
60 years
Joseph Manning
April 20, 2012
8 years
Russell Hampton
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