St Vincent News
Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures, the beautiful fall colors, and the leaves that decorate our pantry hallway carpet. Autumn is also harvest time and a time to give thanks for bountiful blessings. I am thankful for our generous donors who make it possible for us to operate the food pantry and provide emergency services to those in need. I am also grateful to our many dedicated volunteers who work joyfully and at some risk to themselves serving others.
Our pantry guests are thankful they can once again choose the food they desire. At the start of the pandemic, we closed our shopping-style pantry and switched to giving out standard food boxes with only a few guest choices. Now that our staff are vaccinated and have some protection, guests are again welcomed into our pantry waiting room where they mark what they want, and their food boxes are packed while they wait.
Hunger Prevention Coalition of Bend gave us a generous donation along with a challenge to improve the nutritional value of our food offerings. We responded by procuring meat from the 1017 Project and purchasing canned vegetables, eggs, soups, and milk when they aren’t available from our regional food bank operated by Neighbor Impact in Redmond. I am grateful for the weekly donations of food we receive from our local grocers, the produce donated by local gardeners this past season, and the generous donation from patrons of Grocery Outlet’s “End Hunger” campaign.
I am proud of the vital role we play helping folks in emergency situations who don’t qualify for government programs or whose urgency demands immediate assistance. We are the backup for those who are one paycheck away from homeless. Our top priority is helping families stay in their homes by assisting them with rent and utility payments. Another top priority is providing temporary shelter to those experiencing domestic abuse, eviction, or other loss of home when homeless shelters aren’t appropriate or don’t have space.
I am thankful for the collaborative ministry we share with nine local churches who refer people in need to us and supported us with over $16,000 in donations this past fiscal year. I pray that you also have much to be thankful for this fall season.
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