Atascadero Kiwanis Club is celebrating a half-century of public service. Chartered in May of 1969, the club has a number of causes it supports,  such as distributing food to those in need on a monthly schedule.

“I’ve been participating in this food giveaway for the past 10 years,” said Pat Lynch, a past president of the local Kiwanis Club. Lynch is chairman of the club’s food giveaway program.

In this case, the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County shows up with a truck at Santa Rosa Academic Academy on the second Wednesday of each month. When the utility truck, driven by John Budd, showed up at the school recently, Kiwanians were there to set up tables and prepare to hand out bread, fruits, vegetables, meat and more. The greens were fresh and some items were still frozen. The volunteers also help carry the food to the client’s cars.

On this most recent giveaway, Lynch was joined by Kiwanians Tony Villa, Denny Howland and Kathy Peterson. Also, there to hand out the food was Lindsey Hamilton, an intern from Atascadero State Hospital. Hamilton was working with the Food Bank by providing information about good nutrition.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

The food is distributed year-round. During the summer the number of those who drop by for a food basket drops off. Lynch said they distribute from 20 to 30 baskets each time. During the school year, the giveaway is more robust. All a recipient has to do is sign for the food. There is no cost to the client.

Last month Atascadero Kiwanis Club members participated in collecting money to support the Food Bank. It was a county-wide event. Now these Kiwanians are a part of the actual handing out food.

Membership is open to adult men and women. Meetings are held at 7 a.m. Thursday morning in Kiwanis Hall near the Pavilion on the Lake. For more information, call 466-8529.