Woodstock-Oxford Rotary comes weekly to the Community Free Table, supporting needs of the homeless and less fortunate in their community.  “It was the idea of a local resident in our community who started it,” said club member Doug Vincent.  “Shortly thereafter, Rotary got involved supporting the need by providing a BBQ lunch along with other fruit and yoghurt snacks, etc.”.  
Over the past few months, other local organizations and businesses have also donated a variety of needed items for those requiring assistance.  “Stores may donate  items or give Rotary a discount to purchase necessary items,” said Doug.  “In some cases we’ve purchased groceries and personal hygiene items for distribution from the table.”  Rotarians also save and gather hotel-sized lotion and shampoo from their travels, for people to take from the table.
Despite Covid challenges, the project follows safe protocol and operates in downtown Woodstock, each Saturday from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm, serving from 50 to 100 people.  In addition to food, common items this time of year include clothing, mittens, hats, coats and some shoes. Along with onsite hotdogs, hamburgers or donated pizza, everyone receives a bag containing a variety of yogurt, potatoes, vegetables, cookies, butter tarts, oranges etc.
“It is great to see Rotary and other volunteer friends all making a difference in someone’s life,” said Doug.  “Each week we receive more donations and additional things are included to serve the local needs.  Plans in progress for something extra at Christmas.”