As food insecurity reaches crisis levels in Central Oregon, Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s shoppers and employees are bridging the gap raising over $76,044 to provide food to fuel the local community. Throughout December, shoppers donated money to the Food for February fundraiser, and the 100% employee-owned markets matched the funds.
The funds will be used to purchase groceries at wholesale cost for Family Kitchen of Bend, Sisters Kiwanis Foodbank, Sisters Family Kitchen, and Bethlehem Inn of Redmond.
It is not commonly known that February is one of the hardest-hitting months for hungry families in Central Oregon. Money is tight after the holidays, donations dwindle, and food pantries are depleted.
Newport Avenue Market created Food for February to help fight hunger in Central Oregon. Since 2011, shoppers and the markets have raised over $487,500 for hungry families in Central Oregon, including $219,000 in matching funds from Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s.
According to the Oregon Food Bank, one in 10 Oregonians is facing food insecurity, with 1.5 million expected to seek food assistance this year alone.
“Since last year, our meal count has grown by 80%,” said Donna Burklo, Program Director of Family Kitchen. “The Food for February program is a critical upstream partnership pairing Newport Avenue Market’s expertise and buying power with community-minded shoppers who want to make a difference.”
Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s work closely with wholesalers to purchase thousands of pounds of food, including fresh produce and meat, from the shopping lists of Family Kitchen of Bend, Sisters Kiwanis Foodbank, Sisters Family Kitchen, and Bethlehem Inn of Redmond.
“Our customer’s generosity is the reason we made our goal of matching $30,000 for Food for February,” said Lauren G.D. Redman, CEO of Rudy’s Markets Inc. “The December giving campaign at the register helps feed our hungry neighbors in Central Oregon. Thanks to our amazing customers, we are fortunate to be able to help.”