Partnering with local agencies to fight hunger in our community
CAVE JUNCTION, OR – Cave Junction Grocery Outlet and Illinois Valley community agencies partnered to distribute over 800 pounds of nonperishable food and $3,000 of gift cards raised in the annual “Independence from Hunger” food drive campaign. During the month of July, Grocery Outlet shoppers donated to fight local food insecurity.
The population of Josephine County experiences a 15% rate of food insecurity, which is 3% higher than the average in Oregon. “It becomes increasingly important every day to be one of the few businesses that can give back. We are glad to do it.” notes Cave Junction Grocery Outlet’s local owner and operator, Ethan Lane. The benefits of this cooperative effort stay within the Illinois Valley. “A lot of programs that you donate to, the check gets written and sent off to some corporation somewhere. Every single penny we raise in our store goes directly to the Illinois Valley.” Lane adds.
Lane personally delivered 800 pounds of food to the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s Community Services Center Food Pantry. Volunteers were on site to help unload the tower of food boxes. When asked about her responsibilities at the pantry, volunteer Patti Delk remarked, “I have the best job because I get to see the joy in peoples faces when they pick up a box of food.” The pantry is open every Tuesday from 10:00-1:00 PM and is located at 265 South Old Stage Road in Cave Junction. Everyone in need of food is welcome.
Gift cards were delivered to Evergreen Elementary, Lorna Byrne, and Illinois Valley High to help fight hunger in the schools. IV High’s Jamie Scrogins ensures that students have access to the resources they need. “I don’t have refrigerator space to keep any fresh foods on hand, so the gift cards come in handy to allow kids to supplement the nonperishable foods in our pantry to create meals. We appreciate it very much. They’re gonna love it!”
In addition to the schools, the Illinois Valley Family Coalition, Illinois Valley Wellness Resources, HIV Alliance, and the Maslow Project will assist by distributing the donations to clients in need. The Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDO) assisted Grocery Outlet with outreach and coordination efforts.