Mormon Church and Sunshine Division distribute 80,000 pounds of food to pantries in metro Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) – On Tuesday, Oct. 19, two semi-trucks transported 80,000 pounds of food from Boise, Idaho, to the Sunshine Division warehouse in the old Albertsons building in Wilsonville. Once there, the process began repackaging and distributing macaroni, beans, spaghetti sauce and other items to local pantries. Once the food packages are assembled, local organizations arrived on Wednesday to collect their portions – which will ultimately provide countless meals to community members in need.
As part of an initiative to deliver food to local pantries across the country, the Stakes (Chapters) of Lake Oswego (which also includes Wilsonville and West Linn) and Tualatin Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Chapters) facilitated distribution to Pantry in West Linn and Tualatin, Sherwood YMCA, Family Promise of Tualatin Valley, Errol Hassell Elementary School Food Pantry in Beaverton, St. Vincent DePaul, Packed with Pride (School District Tigard-Tualatin) and the Sunshine division itself. Sunshine division workers and church volunteers took charge of the arduous process.
“It was overwhelming for us. It was such a beautiful gesture, ”said Phil Rees, manager of West Linn Food Pantry. “It’s hard to describe, but it was just great of them and we were able to get food here with our volunteers, and that’s going to keep us going for a while. “
Nancy Scott, deputy director of the church’s Lake Oswego Stake Communication Board, said her stake jumped at the chance to provide food to local pantries, but needed a place to distribute. the goods. This is where the Sunshine division comes in.
The division, which provides food and clothing to Portland families in conjunction with the Portland Police Office, has been using the old Albertsons store warehouse since last year to repackage and distribute its donations.
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“Safeway-Albertsons is an important partner for the Sunshine division,” said Bill Edlefsen, director of finance and infrastructure for the Sunshine division. lent us the one in southwest Portland. They then sold this facility and let us use the Wilsonville store. “
The Wilsonville site not only has the space, but also the equipment and personnel to facilitate the process of sorting, assembling and distributing approximately 3,000 cases of food. Edelfsen appreciated the generous donations from the church.
“It’s probably approaching $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 in food that they (us) and other organizations provide,” he said. “It’s great because that’s how we can serve people, it’s the generosity of people like LDS and others who provide food in kind. They donate it for free. This translates into (the fact that) we can help more people because we can only buy a limited amount of food within our budget. “
Tracy Smith, of the Tualatin Food Pantry, wrote by email that the pandemic has reduced the flow of food drives, reducing the organization’s ability to do as much for local families as it would like. However, the donation filled the void.
“This important donation filled our shelves for the first time in a long time. We’re so excited (for) this food is helping meet the increased needs of customers this holiday season, ”Smith wrote.
Reese said the West Linn Pantry will distribute the more than 5,400 pounds of food to its 40 to 50 regular customers, as well as elementary school students eligible for meal assistance and its annual box distribution. vacation.
Scott said providing these services is just part of the church’s goal of helping local communities. And she said the two-day effort went well thanks in large part to the help from the Sunshine Division.
“Part of our mission as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to serve our fellow men and have good relationships with our neighbors. Part of this is that we cultivate relationships and find ways to serve, ”she said.