It's one of those stories that won't get much press but should. It's how NeighborImpact recently completed a successful 11-month fundraising campaign to expand their emergency food program.
The emergency food program currently provides food for an estimated 14,000 people every month in the tri-county area. That's seven percent of the population with most of those being served working, retired or disabled. Because of the increased numbers of people who have come to rely on the emergency food program, NeighborImpact set out last November to expand their warehouse and freezer capacity to be able to accept more food donations from local markets and from the Oregon Food Bank.
A goal of $100,000 was set with 20 percent of it initially donated by the Oregon Food Bank as part of a DEQ settlement with an unnamed industrial firm. Under State law, a DEQ violation monetary penalty can be paid to a non-profit group.
Once the $100,000 goal was reached, NeighborImpact's warehouse can now accept 800,000 pounds of locally recovered and Oregon Food Bank donated food annually. It also has a new freezer unit that increases cold storage capacity by 100 percent.
How important the new freezer is to the program was pointed out this summer as the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) gathering at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds wound down. FMCA called NeighborImpact to see if it could take a donation of 12,000 frozen pancake breakfasts. Prior to the fund drive and the acquisition of the new freezer, that would have been impossible. With the new freezer it was.
Just as more food from other resources won't go to waste and can be used by a very worthwhile program that is a necessity in these hard times.