A new partnership (image above) among the Rotary Club of Springfield, Illinois; Baja Bridges and the Baja Mar Rotary Club in the Baja California area of Mexico; and the Midwest Mission in Pawnee, Illinois is sharing high-quality ready-to-eat meals with shelters and food pantries across the country. David Fowler (image above, center), Foundation President for the Rotary Club of Springfield, and Katherine Turner (image above, left), Director of Baja Bridges and a member of the Baja Mar Rotary Club, initiated the project when they secured 120,960 meals from a donor in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Chantel Corrie (image above, right), Executive Director of the Midwest Mission, joined the partnership, to provide warehouse space for pallets of the meals and assistance with meal distribution. The image above shows the partners with 52 pallets of meals in the Midwest Mission warehouse in Pawnee, Illinois.
The meals are ready to eat and consist of a main course and dessert and include a napkin, knife, fork, and spoon. Bill Smith of the Rotary Club of Springfield holds one of the meals (image on left). No refrigeration is needed, and no heating is required for consumption. They may be stored at room temperature for up to two more years. The main course for the meals includes dishes such as Chicken Pasta Parmesan, Vegetable Stew with Beef, Turkey Chili with Beans, Three Cheese Omelet with Beef Chili and Beans, and Vegetable Lasagna, and all meals come with dessert.
A total of 52 pallets, each including 576 meals, was already delivered to the Midwest Mission warehouse and was featured by WAND news on February 13. The image below shows WAND interviewing Dave Fowler about the plans for meal distribution. Partners picked up another truckload of 80 pallets of the meals on February 17 in the Phoenix area. These meals were delivered to the Food Bank in Bloomington, IL on February 21. Dave Fowler arranged for the United Way of Central Illinois to announce the availability 30,000 meals free-of-charge to shelters, food pantries, and other nonprofit organizations that distribute meals in central Illinois.  As of February 23, 15 nonprofits in central Illinois have requested meals. Meal delivery is slated for March 1 and 2. David Fowler has already arranged for enough volunteers to assist in this effort.
Project Partner Katherine Turner is working her Rotary Club, the Baja Mar Rotary Club in the Baja California area of Mexico, to distribute meals in their region. As news of the availability of the meals spread, Past District Governor for Rotary District 5500 Diane Ventura-Goodyear coordinated a request from her club, the Tucson Sunset Rotary Club, for 20 pallets of the meals for distribution to seven shelters and other nonprofits in the Tucson area of Arizona (image below).