PERRY — During the COVID-19 pandemic, some food pantries are experiencing great demand. To help out, Perry Rotary donated funds to the Castile, Silver Springs and Warsaw food pantries.

“During this unprecedented time, the Perry Rotary Club remains steadfast in its commitment to serving its communities,” said Denis Berwanger, Rotary president.

Local food pantries depend almost exclusively upon donations. The Silver Springs food pantry, which serves all of the Letchworth Central School District, is funded exclusively through private donations, said John Mason, who serves as the pantry’s financial officer.

The $500 Rotary donation comes at a time of critical need, he said. The pantry has been limited in its ability to buy foodstuffs in bulk at discounts.

“We’re trying to work with people with actual emergencies and have had to tell some people we couldn’t meet their need,” Mason said. The pantry serves, on average, 25 households, or about 45 individuals, with an annual operating budget of $10,000 to $12,000.

He said the food pantry hopes to use some of the Rotary donation to offer more dairy products such as butter, cheese and yogurt. The pantry is open 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Silver Spring United Methodist Church.

The Warsaw Food Pantry serves all of Wyoming County, and families can pick up food once every 30 days, said Manager Cindy Kiel.

“In March we provided food for 435 people,” she said. “We saw 26 new families who were in need.

“Rotary’s $1,000 donation will go toward purchasing food,” she continued. “Its $30,000 to $35,000 annual budget is met by private donations and grants. The Warsaw food pantry is also a member of the Rochester-based Food Link. “

It is open on Monday and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.; Tuesday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and on the last Monday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. at the United Church of Warsaw.

The Castile Food Pantry, operating out of the Castile United Church of Christ, serves Castile village and town residents. Rotary’s $500 donation will be used to buy food to restock the pantry, said Rev. Tim McMullen. It typically provides food for 30 families who can pick up food once a month.

Normally the Castile Food Panty is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. But since staff is limited during the pandemic, residents can leave a message at the church to make arrangements for pickup.

Perry Rotary Club’s donations to local food pantries is done at the same time it rolled out the “Give the Gift of Perry” program. The effort with Perry Central Schoolprovides gift certificates to Perry households to purchase food, services and supplies at participating businesses .

People wishing to donate money or supplies can do so directly.

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