Elks, Karing Kitchen team up to aid those in need in of Easter meals in Oneida

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ONEIDA — The Karing Kitchen has received $5,500 in grant funding from the Oneida Elks Lodge #767, which will help meet the growing demand for Easter dinners in the community.

The Karing Kitchen was awarded a $2,500 Gratitude Grant from the Elks in July; and has received a second donation from the Elks’ Spotlight and Beacon grants.

Elks Secretary George Winne said that while the Spotlight and Beacon grants are typically used to support such programs as literacy or active community projects — the guidelines have been adjusted this year as a result of COVID-19.

“Due to the pandemic, the rules were relaxed to allow the money to be directed towards COVID-19 relief,” he said. “The funds are being provided to the local community where they can best be used. We’re pleased it’s going to the Karing Kitchen, since we know it’ll do a lot for our community.”

Karing Kitchen Coordinator Melissa King said that the funds will be primarily used for Easter, providing meals to those in need — and the demand has never been greater. “We had 600 families register with the Karing Kitchen just for Christmas that received a Christmas food basket,” she said, adding that “110 of those were completely new families that we had never seen before.”

“We still see the need in the community,” Melissa continued. “There are different programs in place, but not everyone’s eligible for them. We have to make sure people do not fall through the cracks.”

Oneida Elks Exalted Ruler Kathleen Malinowski said it’s important to keep donations in the local community, as it strengthens the community and its people. “There’s a need in the community, and the Elks want to make sure we’re helping towards that,” she said.

For information about the Oneida Elks Lodge, go online to www.elks.org/lodges/home.cfm?LodgeNumber=767

For more information about the Karing Kitchen, visit the website www.karingkitchen.org

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