Astoria's Food Bank Fresh program increases healthy options
Fresh produce can be expensive if you live outside of the I-5 corridor, but a new program is helping get healthy food to low-income residents in Clatsop County. Last summer, CCA Regional Food Bank in Astoria piloted Food Bank Fresh, a market-style program to distribute a variety of fresh produce. The food comes from many sources including the garden and orchard surrounding the agency's Warrenton warehouse and donations from local gardeners. Those who stop by are offered recipes along with storage and usage tips.
Each week, the market is set up for two hours at locations in Astoria, Seaside and Warrention. By the end of this year, CCA director Marlin Martin estimates they will have served more than 45,000 people and distributed over 300,000 pounds of fresh produce.
Food Bank Fresh is one innovative way our partners are promoting better nutrition and distributing more food to those in need. This highly efficient program would not be possible without your donation to and support of Oregon Food Bank and the Oregon Food Bank Network.
Friendly people draw others to Clay Street Table
How do you create community for people struggling to make ends meet or those who are homeless? At Clay Street Table volunteers from nearby churches, schools, civic groups, and the community, help run a meal program and pantry at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in southwest Portland. They serve about 2,000 meals each month.
What sets this program apart is the number of food recipients who are also volunteers. Local residents in low-income housing, as well as the homeless, join forces with volunteers under the direction of Rev. Dr. Paul Davis. Rev. Davis welcomes everyone who enters the door as a friend. His infectious energy gets people working together, blurring the lines between haves and have-nots.
To build skills and foster community, pantry recipients can take part in the Cooks Supper program. Class participants start each session by cooking dinner for as many as 150 homeless youth who are part of The Underground, a community for unhoused youth aged 14-25 years. Executive Director Ken Loyd organizes local college students to serve the meals. This combination of education, service and food is the basis for a strong community among people who might never have made a connection.
Summer is a precarious time for hunger relief. Kids are out of school where they may receive free/reduced lunches and lots of donors are on vacation. Oregon Food Bank doesn't take a holiday and we work tireless to help those in need in Oregon and Clark County, Washington all year long.
$10 still allows us to acquire an distribute one emergency food box which feeds a family of four for three to five days. Would you be willing to support our efforts?
Also, if you happen to have a green thumb, consider sharing your harvest with a local food pantry. For more information on this program we call "plant a row" Give-Food/Plant-a-Row-Program
Thank you for your support.