The Hunger Prevention Coalition of Central Oregon (HPC) has quietly been making a huge impact throughout the community. While celebrating its 20th anniversary, HPC has passed the $1,000,000 mark in funds raised and distributed to partner agencies for the sole purpose of increasing the nutritional quality of food available to our neighbors in need.
Because of HPC’s assistance, the participating food kitchens and outlets are able to include more fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins – such as meat, dairy products, and eggs – in every meal and food box. Each year, partner agencies (there are 14, currently) may apply for a share of the funds raised by HPC in the upcoming fiscal cycle. In return, the agencies assure that every dollar is used only for nutritious food and that no money or service is required of the recipients.
This year, HPC is sending 100% of all money raised to the participant agencies, as income from an endowment and member fees now fully cover the minimal overhead expenses of the all-volunteer organization. The endowment was established with funds raised through the extraordinary generosity of Newport Avenue Market, which held several golf tournaments for the benefit of HPC. Among the Coalition’s earliest boosters, the Market also held the first successful trial run of the Help Fill Empty Plates checkout placards in 2002 and has been featuring them on their counters ever since. As Rudy and Debbie Dory, founders of Newport Avenue Market said all those years ago, “No one should ever go hungry.”
Robin Popp, HPC Board President, notes, “Most of the funds we raise come from individuals, especially those who use the check-out coupons on Help Fill Empty Plates placards in participating grocers such as Newport Avenue Market, Oliver Lemon’s, Food4Less, and Ray’s Food Place. Funds are also raised through grants and events.” Robin pointed out that the people benefiting from these funds live not only in Bend, but in Prineville, Redmond, Warm Springs, LaPine, and areas in between.
To learn more about the Hunger Prevention Coalition, visit the website hungerpc.org.