Volunteers in action
We could not do what we do without the help of people like you! While we are still raising funds, the operation of the facility is in full swing. Of the $8.5 million campaign we are closing in on the last million!
Here is what has taken place since we opened our doors in June.
OFB West opened its doors right on schedule at the end of June 2010 and food distribution began immediately. In the first five months of operation, more than 1.86 million pounds have been distributed through the new facility: an 18 percent increase from the previous year. During that same time period in 2009, the former Washington County distribution site in Hillsboro provided 1.58 million pounds.
Before OFB West opened in Beaverton, there were 20 stores participating in the Fresh Alliance program serving Washington County, providing high-quality perishables for the emergency food supply five days a week to the Hillsboro location. Since opening the doors of OFB West in June, we have diverted deliveries from 10 additional Fresh Alliance stores that are closer to OFB West from the original delivery schedule to OFB headquarters in northeast Portland.
Volunteer shifts were reduced drastically in the former Hillsboro site toward the end of 2009 as an increasing number of hazards were discovered that made food sorting impractical. Rather than throwing money at the old facility to fix the problems, it was decided that we would begin eliminating Washington County volunteer shifts until the new location was operational. Therefore, while the 2010 volunteer hours at OFB West from July through November were more than 6,000 hours compared to 2,700 hours in 2009, it is not a valid comparison. The full first year numbers will be compared with previous years in the July Final Report to the Trust and will be more meaningful at that time.
More than 550,000 pounds of food has been sorted and repacked by volunteers at the new OFB West facility since the beginning of OFB’s fiscal year (July 1). During this same time period last year, only 360,000 pounds were processed at the Hillsboro facility. So while volunteer food sorting shifts did not begin at OFB West until August, this is still a 53 percent increase.
Processing Frozen Foods
The processing of frozen foods began at OFB West in September. For the months of September, October and November of 2010, 350,000 pounds of frozen food was sorted by volunteers into family-sized portions for distribution to Partner Agencies. This number includes both what was processed at OFB West and OFB’s headquarters in northeast Portland. During this same period in 2009, 225,000 pounds of frozen food was processed through OFB’s headquarters as there was no capacity at the Hillsboro location for this type of work. This is already a 55 percent increase in the amount of frozen foods that OFB was able to accept, sort and provide to hungry people.
Lots and lots of activity and we thank you for your support!