Oregon has one of the highest hunger rates in the country. Unemployment, low wages and the high cost of living have put three meals a day beyond the reach of too many households. But while hunger in many states has gotten much worse, Oregon has held the line on hunger thanks to public and private sector efforts and generous donations of food, time and money.
39% of Lane County residents are eligible for food assistance. FOOD for Lane County, Lane County’s food bank, alleviates these food needs by distributing 8 million pounds of food annually.
On the third Wednesday of each month, a group of about five Southtowners works in the kitchen at FFLC, repackaging food that’s been rescued from various grocery delis, UO dorms, etc. and then also packaging bulk foods into family-sized units for distribution. This is a great opportunity to involve other family members, and to get to know other club members better (and to see cartons of approximately 125 cubic feet full of granola, or corn on the cob, or some other commodity). It is hoped that each club member will volunteer at least once a year.
Contact Bert Toepel for more information on how to get involved.
Meals on Wheels
Southtowners have great compassion for the older citizens of our community. They’re able to serve part of that community with the assistance of American Red Cross by participating in the Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels are available to people over the age of 60 and their spouses who cannot get out much due to illness or advanced age and who are not eating properly, regardless of their income. Volunteers deliver a nourishing, freshly prepared noontime meal. Many who live alone feel more secure knowing that someone is checking on them regularly.
Every Friday (with the exception of ‘furlough’ days), Southtowne members deliver meals on two routes. We work in pairs, so there’s also an opportunity to get to know another club member better. For many of the people who receive these meals, this is the only contact they have with the outside world on a daily basis. The club’s MoW team is big enough at this point that a person is usually scheduled only 2 or 3 times per quarter. Each route takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to deliver.
Contact Rod Holst for more information on how to get involved.