Rotarian Dr. James Bentson, volunteer Linda Morales and Rotarian Robert Mancino organizing donations to be delivered to local pantries

Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club Hosts Successful Annual Day Of Service

On Saturday, May 18, the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club participated in the Day of Service by hosting a food drive at Best Farms in Hicksville. They collected non-perishable food and personal care items for local pantries. The Rotary Day of Service is an opportunity for Rotary Clubs internationally to volunteer and give back to its communities through collecting donations, refurbishing public areas and more.

The Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club welcomed volunteers from the community to help club members collect donations from Best Farms and Dollar Tree.

“We encouraged our members and volunteers to shop in either Best Farms or Dollar Tree for their donations,” said Donna Rivera-Downey, President of Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club.

While both Best Farms and Dollar Tree have similar items, Dollar Tree offers better deals and carries shelf-stable milk, which many local pantries request as it has a longer shelf life. In addition to the non-perishable food items, the club collected personal care items such as laundry detergent, deodorant and shampoo.

With the help of members and volunteers, the club collected over 800 pounds of food and personal care items.

“We are very thankful to the shoppers and residents of Hicksville who visited Best Farms market and Dollar Tree,” said Rivera-Downey. “The shoppers in that shopping center are extremely generous, and we always seem to be able to do a really nice job collecting there.”

Once the donations were gathered, the volunteers distributed the items to three pantries: Holy Family Church, Hicksville United Methodist Church, and Jericho Cares.

“The pantries asked us for some specific items, which we made sure we got for them,” said Rivera-Downey. “And we divided the rest of the donations between the three pantries.”

Jericho Cares, one of the pantries the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club delivered to, is a grassroots organization that started in 2020 to help families in need during the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception, Jericho Cares has continued to help families with food insecurities and difficulty obtaining basic home supplies.

“We are a delivery pantry, so we don’t have open pantry hours, and we don’t have refrigeration, so that’s why our donations must be non-perishable,” said Katelyn Slawitsky, Jericho Cares Board Member. “We used to go weekly to the local motels, temporary housing and shelters housed within Jericho, specifically the ones with children in them. Then we started with our delivery program, which people can put in for once a month. They tell us everything they want through a Google form, and then we have a delivery person who will bring the care package to them.”

“We’ve filled a niche need in the Long Island community because so many of our recipients are located by pantries, but they have no way of getting their way back. So the fact that we deliver directly to their location is very helpful,” said Slawitsky.

The Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club is one of the many organizations Jericho Cares works with regularly.

“They’re always willing to help. Whenever we need something, Donna (Rivera-Downey) says, ‘Let me see what I can do.’ The Rotary Club is fantastic,” said Slawitsky.

In addition to monthly deliveries to families in need, Jericho Cares hosts back-to-school drives in August, Thanksgiving Drives and a holiday drive where people can adopt a family to support by purchasing presents for their children. With the recent donation from the Rotary Club, Jericho Cares can continue supplying local families with boxes of non-perishables and necessary toiletries. To learn more about Jericho Cares, visit

Rotarian Jospeh Shair, Jericho Cares volunteers, Katelyn Slawitsky and Ryan Slawitsky, Rotarian Robert Mancinom and volunteer Jaylen Adams delivering food to the Jericho Cares pantry. (Photos from the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club)

According to the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club, they were among over 800 Rotary Clubs, 30,000 Rotarians and thousands of volunteers spanning ten states and seven countries that joined forces for the Rotary Day of Service. The international initiative includes US projects in Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming, along with Districts in Bermuda, Canada, the UK and Brazil.

To learn more about the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club and how to get involved, visit

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