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Food for February Plate Newport Ave. Market in Bend

Friends. Family. Food. Watching Christmas movies (Die Hard totally counts, right?). Decorating the tree. Lighting the menorah. Building a snowman. Wrapping presents. Sipping mugs of hot chocolate. Heck… chugging mugs of hot buttered rum. Yep, we think the holidays are pretty awesome. But what happens when December ends? Trees go to the curb. We gobble up our leftovers or shove them down the garbage disposal. The magic of the season ends and the sweet schlepp of a new year begins.

One thing still lingers for some of our neighbors, though. It’s called hunger and it truly knows no season. While food pantries may be stocked through December, when February hits they are often depleted. (Think Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, except legitimately terrifying for those who have no idea where their next meal will come from.) We believe the people in our community deserve healthy food every month of the year. So we raise money in December to help Central Oregon families in February for the months to follow.

What is Food for February?

February is traditionally a hard-hitting month for food pantries and kitchens. “Giving mode” has grinded to a halt. Shelves are bare and worry runs high. Our Food for February fundraiser raises money for Family Kitchen, a local charity whose mission is to provide nutritious meals for anyone in need. In 2015, they served up 55,958 meals to our community.

Last year we raised $56,000 for Family Kitchen. Our customers donated $25,000 of that amount. We matched another $25,000 and a few of our partners chipped in the remaining $6,000. Because of our community’s generosity, we were able to buy enough groceries at cost to fill up Family Kitchen’s shelves for the entire year! We shop right from their grocery list of needed items, most being fresh and perishable items such as meat, dairy and produce.

Our goal every year is to raise $50,000. Can we do it again? You bet your sweet cheeks we can! But we need our rock star customers to hop on this train with us. We’ll match everything you donate, dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000. Your generosity blows us away year after year and we have no doubt you can raise the $25,000 needed to reach our audacious goal.

How can you help?

It’s simple. Donate any amount you wish at our registers throughout December. You’ll receive a special Food for February paper plate to write your name on, which we will display with immense pride. We want to fill our walls with your plates. Like, we want the walls overflowing with names. We want to find ourselves scratching our heads trying to figure out where to put all the plates.

A while back we wrote about what it means to be “Community Strong.” (To see this post, click here.) The question has always been “How can we, in our tiny little corner of the world, possibly make a difference?” We believe the best way is to build people up. Make sure their basic needs are taken care of. No one should ever go hungry and as a community we can come together in this. Let’s rally around the people who need our help the most.

Your gift matters. Now… who’s with us?

Food for February 2016-17 Newport Ave. Market in Bend

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