Amid our celebration over the Oregon football team’s victory and journey to the Rose Bowl, yesterday’s news reported more sobering realities: our local food pantries have much smaller reserves this year than they did last year. With the economy still slumping, and the weather so cold, it’s going to be a tough winter. Here’s your chance to help in an easy way: give some warm soup through your postal carrier!
Lane County residents only — don’t forget to leave out your bag of non-perishable food for the U.S. Postal Service food drive tomorrow (Saturday, December 5) and next Saturday, December 12, 2009. High protein and heat-and-eat items (e.g., chili, tuna, beef stew) are most appreciated. These foods greatly supplement the commodity goods provided by the federal government (hunger basics like dried beans and rice).
Individual donations for this major drive diversify the diet of those who visit the food pantries. Just like the rest of us, this population includes vegetarians, diabetics, picky kids, ethnic food lovers, great cooks, gluten-free eaters, etc., so a wide range of products is very much appreciated.
If you’re on the way home tonight and want to pick up a few things from the grocery store, here is a link to requested items from Food for Lane County. Anything in cans or packages would be appreciated, but FFLC requests that you leave at least three items for the postal food drive, if you’ll be participating. There are also links on the FFLC website about volunteering at food banks or pantries for those who would like to be more involved.
And: if you need food in Lane County, some information about how to get food boxes can be found here. If you are a senior, a family, or an individual struggling to make ends meet and/or think you might qualify, please don’t hesitate to call. The people are kind, efficient, and non-judgmental, and will get you the resources you need. The food pantries are located all over Eugene and other places in the county, and have a wide range of boxed and canned foods, plus bread, frozen meat, and dairy products. Some pantries have baby food, pet food and fresh vegetables and fruit, depending on availability. Some of the pantries are held in churches, but they don’t expect you to be a member of the congregation or religious. And know you will be treated with respect.