Local Food Bank Offers Community Support
Approaching the one year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic has left many Americans in need of more assistance. Because of the economic impacts of the pandemic, Feeding American estimates that as many as 1 in 6 Americans could face hunger and food insecurity. Serving more than 4.2 million meals this year alone, more than 80 percent of food banks are distributing more aid to communities than they did at this time last year.
With the added stress of the holiday season, the Portland Community Food Bank is offering support to families in need through food pantry services. “People are able to come to shop for food once per month. We offer dry foods, frozen meats, dairy products and fresh vegetables when available,” said Sara, Director of the Portland Community Food Bank.
In addition to meeting higher demands, food banks are experiencing their own challenges of maintaining their services safely during the pandemic. Sara explained that the Portland Community Food Bank is facing “difficulty with communications with our clients during these times due to changes in requirements.” To ensure the safety of all clients, the food bank does limit the number of people allowed in the facility at one time to comply with social distancing guidelines, increasing wait times.
Many community members have stepped up to help with the Food Bank’s efforts. “We are very, very blessed and thankful to be in the Portland Community. The community has offered a lot support over the years. Special thanks goes to Toms Food Center for their donations of food and discounts on food that we purchased. Also to the United Dairy industry for the new display refrigerator and grant to purchase dairy products,” said Sara.
As the demand for services increases, the demand for volunteers and donations or monetary contributions increases as well. Anyone interested in the services offered or in volunteering should contact Sara by social media through the Portland Community Food Bank Facebook page, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 517-204-4279. The hours of operation are Mondays 9am-Noon and Thursdays 4-6 pm.