Eugene Southtowne Rotary has an outreach program where active Southtowne volunteers shop, compile and distribute over 40 food boxes per month during the school year to local families. We deliver directly to our community partners covering 21 Head Start classrooms (deliveries to Fairfield, Clear Lake and Whitaker), 1 Elementary school (Fairfield Elementary), and Downtown Languages (to classrooms and Pilas programs) where families are learning English.
Our food boxes are the conduit to the families in need participating in these programs. We eliminate barriers to getting food. FOOD for Lane County is always looking for ways to get food to where it is needed most! They chose Southtowne Rotary as a P2 partner because of our long term commitment to getting food to these families.
One of our community partners, Alexandra Steiner, stated:
“Each month, 20 Head Start families in our community receive emergency food boxes. For many families, these food boxes are a vital resource in preventing hunger and unmanageable financial strain. Head Start families may reach out for a food box when they are experiencing a wide range of chronic and emergent issues. Historically these issues include situations such as a decrease in work hours resulting in lower paychecks, struggles with domestic violence leading to a family being safe housed through WomenSpace, and medical emergencies that cause immense emotional and financial stress.
Thanks to the generosity of Southtowne Rotary, Head Start families in the Whiteaker, Bethel, and Junction City communities have the immediate option of receiving a food box through their child’s school. Furthermore, Rotary offers incredible flexibility to family needs in providing Hispanic food boxes and even food boxes that cater to special diets upon request. Finally, each year Rotary provides 40 families with holiday food boxes at Thanksgiving and Christmas to ensure that their holidays are enriched by a nutritious meal to gather around.
As a family-focused agency, Head Start of Lane County takes pride in eliminating barriers to our families in accessing resources. We strongly believe that by providing food boxes at a location where parents are already familiar, comfortable, and visiting on a daily basis, more families in need get the food assistance they deserve. From all of us at Head Start, thank you for helping ensure that our youngest children, and their families, have a solid foundation for life.”
- 350 food boxes delivered this year
- 20 food boxes delivered each 2 weeks during the school year
- Spent $12,700 last year in food boxes – will deliver about 50 boxes more this year and with careful shopping, community help (local church and Food for Lane County) for $11,000.
These are the families Eugene Southtowne Rotary has served recently:
- Single parent household with 3 kids that live in an apartment. Parent rides the bus for transportation, as vehicle costs are too high. Parent works from 6-6 to support the family. Approx. half of the wages go for daycare. The food boxes are a great relief for this family and help them to make ends meet.
- Dual parent household of 5 kids. One parent works, one parent stays home to cut the cost of daycare. Parents use public transportation or walk. Food box helps this family cut the cost of groceries.
- Dual parent household with 4 kids in an apartment. One income, one parent recently lost job. One vehicle for the family. This family anticipates getting a box because it has items that they normally would not purchase in it.
- Single parent household of 3 kids in an apartment. Circumstances have forced this parent to recently relocate to this area and does not know anyone here. Currently unemployed. When offered the food box, parent was grateful as the house did not have much “staples” to start with.
- Single parent family in transition with 2 kids. Parent works part-time. The food boxes are great for this family as the items are non-perishable and most do not require a stove/oven to prepare/serve.
Goals for 2019-’20
- Work in partnership with Head Start, Fairfield Elementary School, and Downtown Languages to provide food boxes to families facing imminent food shortages.
- Provide boxes within the limits of the resources available for this project.