In less than two weeks, Rotary District 5960, with nearly 2,700 members and 63 clubs (see map), has raised over $27,000 to help three organizations during this pandemic.  The three organizations are:
            Second Harvest Heartland;
            Channel One Regional Food Bank;
            YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.
Second Harvest Heartland was selected because of the large area they cover and their dramatic need for greatly increased donations to help meet the needs of their communities. Allison O’Toole, CEO, said “We’re so grateful to have important partners like the Rotary right beside us as we work to respond to the coronavirus. Partnerships like this one are what will see us through to better times.”
Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf takes in millions of pounds of surplus food from the food industry which is then distributed through their network of member agencies, including food shelves, soup kitchens, group homes, and shelters. “We are so grateful for the Rotary Clubs’ partnership”, says Virginia Merritt, Executive Director at Channel One Regional Food Bank. “Their support and sense of community is inspiring and needed during these uncertain times. This donation will help to provide meals for over 32,000 individuals facing hunger and is really impacting lives.”
“Stocked shelves at these organizations satisfy hunger needs around our clubs’ service area” said Paul Perez, Rotarian, and District 5960 Governor. “Our members saw this clearly and stepped up to contribute quickly.”

YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities has 20 locations within District 5960.  The Y’s mission parallels that of Rotary and provides programs that build healthy mind, body, and spirit for all. “YMCA Community Response Hub offers life-saving services to everyone in our community,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.
Our Y supports critical community help such as priority child care and financial assistance to emergency and essential workers, food distribution for youth, families, and seniors, telephone wellness checks to senior members sharing resources to stay healthy and safe, and connecting people to critical governmental and nonprofit community services.”
“These are the Y’s identified priorities as we respond to this health and financial crisis. The gift from Rotary District 5960 ensures our ability to continue this programming for those who are most vulnerable in our communities.”

All three of these organizations have existing programs that needed an infusion of money to continue serving the community.  As Dr. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral said, “Find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it, find a problem and solve it.”  With these donations District 5960 of Rotary has filled a need.

District Governor Perez said “This situation has reminded us that Rotary is needed now more than ever. I am so proud to be a Rotarian and belong to a community of people who care and take action.”  Around the globe, Rotary is 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

For information on District 5960 or Rotary in general, contact Kathy Hughitt at District 5960 headquarters 651-636-9054 or e-mail her at
Second Harvest Heartland is one of the largest food banks in the nation. Second Harvest Heartland works in close partnership with nearly 1,000 food shelves and other hunger-relief programs who are delivering much-needed food directly to neighbors experiencing hunger.  Visit
Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf a member of Feeding America, strengthens food access and builds healthy communities. Channel One operates food programs to serve local and area needs such as: a food bank, food shelf, mobile pantry, Backpack Program, and Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS). Channel One Regional Food Bank mobilizes organizations, volunteers, and donors to serve the network of more than 200 nonprofit programs that provide food for children, adults, and families in need. Channel One serves 14 counties across southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, call 507.287.2350 or visit

       The Twin Cities YMCA has been listening and responding to community needs for 164 years. With continued community support and gifts like Rotary’s, the Y can continue to help keep youth, families, adults and seniors safe and healthy during this difficult time by offering services through Community Response Hub:
Rotary District 5960 includes nearly 2,700 dedicated people who share a passion for both community service and friendship. Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group of professionals who share your drive to give back. District 5960’s 63 community clubs are in St. Paul and suburbs, Western Wisconsin, and a broad swatch of southern Minnesota to the Iowa border. The northern edge of the district stretches from Princeton and Cambridge to Hayward Wisconsin.