|Food box program going strong during pandemic posted on 06/01/2020|
Neighborhood Missions, in partnership with the Oregon Food
Bank and the Hoodland Senior Center, has offered a Free Food Market on the last
Monday of each month for a couple years. Their efforts to help those in need in
the community have continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing
food box to up to 75 households (approximately 180 people) last month.
Steve Carlson, who facilitates the market, noted that
despite the onset of the pandemic, numbers of people receiving boxes have not
“Not as many as I would have anticipated, which has been
surprising to me,” Carlson said, noting that other factors, such as stimulus
checks and unemployment. “As this goes on longer, we may see an increase more
than we have.”
The market, which is open from 9-10 a.m. at the Hoodland
Senior Center (65000 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches), has seen a good number of monetary
donations, which Carlson said could be used to help other programs on the
Mountain that help those with food insecurity, such as Meals on Wheels and the
summer lunch program.
“We’re looking at some ways we can utilize those
contributions in a little wider way,” he said. “We are feeling like that could
be an area where we could have a substantial impact.”
The market has taken steps to adhere to social distancing,
including boxing food for people as they wait in their cars (normally the
market allows people to select items from a table). Neighborhood Missions also
offers assistance with rent, utilities, prescription drug costs and gasoline,
although Carlson noted they have not had a lot of recent requests. To request
aid, call 503-622-9213 and leave a message. Somebody will call back within 24
Carlson also added that volunteers are welcome to help at
the food market and that Neighborhood Missions has a committee to help with
planning and organizing the effort. The committee meets the second Monday of
every month at 2 p.m. at Hoodland Lutheran Church, 59159 E. Hwy. 26,.
“We always welcome more voices, more ideas to serve the
needy in our community,” Carlson said.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office also has a program to help
seniors impacted by COVID-19, the Community Care Initiative. It offers food,
medicine and household supplies, along with delivery. Those in need can email
CCIrequests@clackamas.us or call 503-794-8008.
By Garth Guibord/MT