Did you know that 1 in 5 children and 1 in 8 adults are food insecure in Deschutes County? The Bend Food Project is working to reduce these statistics, and fight hunger in our community. As we enter an uncertain time globally and locally, needs in our community are also likely to rise. The work that Bend Food Project is doing can help. This is something the whole team at Brooks Resources can get behind and our contributions committee recently made a cash donation to the organization to help them achieve their mission. In addition, many of us donate food – and volunteer time – to the cause.
Christi Haynes, our owner relations manager, is a neighborhood coordinator for the Bend Food Project. It is a cause that is close to her heart. She says, “Reaching out to my neighbors and asking them to contribute one bag of food for hungry families every other month just makes sense to me. It is so easy to grab a couple of extra food items at the grocery store between food bag pickups. Some of my food donors leave a couple of bags full of food out, others fill their bags with a few cans. No matter the amount of food given, it is contributed!”
Bend Food Project coordinators like Christi collect filled “green bags” from homes the second Saturday of the giving month (occurring every two months). Each reusable cloth bag, when filled, equals about ten meals. The group combines donors’ bags with their neighbors’ donations, all coming together to feed the community.
The Bend Food Project closes the loop by partnering with other like-minded community organizations. The food they collect helps to stock the shelves at “The Giving Plate,” which is the largest food pantry in Bend Oregon. The Giving Plate has programs for both adults and children, helping those in need in the Central Oregon region.
Sue Marceaux of the Bend Food Project said, “It takes the whole community working together, including local businesses like Brooks Resources, to make a difference in the lives of individuals. Many of us may not even realize that our neighbors don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We try to make it simple to participate in our program, and make it simple for those in need to get a regular supply of nutritious food. We so appreciate the support of the Brooks Resources team!”
Hunger is not a localized issue. In fact, Feeding America reports that 40 million American families receive food aid. Even when they are working, about one-third of those receiving aid, they still can’t afford to buy food, foregoing it for paying other bills like rent, utilities, medical care and other essentials.
We are proud to support the Bend Food Project as it seeks to make a difference when it comes to hunger in Central Oregon. Now more than ever, it’s vital that we all come together as a community and help each other!