Who Gets the Food?
One question that kept surfacing as the Medford Food Project was being planned
this year, was: “Where does the food go? Which food banks should get it?” In
Ashland and Talent there are only one or two food banks, so it’s no problem.
But in the Medford area, there are more than 20. How could the MFP decide which
food banks should receive the food they collected?
Fortunately, the nutrition director of ACCESS, Philip Yates, was a charter
member of the MFP. He came up with a creative solution: Divide the Medford
Food Project into two groups — the food collectors and the food distributors.
The food collectors would concentrate on organizing neighborhoods to pick up
food, and the distributors — ie, the food pantries — would decide how to divide
it up. Surprisingly, the food distributors had never collaborated on a project
like this before.
We brought a group of 19 food pantries together, representing a variety of organizations in the area: the St. Vincent DePaul Society, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, the Maslow Project, the Northwest Seasonal Workers, the Medford Gospel Mission, God’s Pantry, the Gleaners Network, and many more. Eventually they decided, in the spirit of true collaboration, that every pantry— regardless of its size — gets an equal share of the food.
The importance of this effort is clear when you realize that more people are in need of emergency food supplies than ever before. About 22,000 Jackson County residents will receive emergency food in 2011! Medford agencies serve about 55% of all the emergency food in Jackson County.
"Some people wonder whether food recipients are just taking advantage of the community’s generosity," says ACCESS's Yates." “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Close to half the families we serve have at least one person working. Many of the rest are out of work and can’t find jobs. And 34% of our recipients are children. Only about 5% are homeless. The majority of people we serve just don’t earn enough money to cover their basic expenses.” That's who gets the food you donate.
Next Pickup Day: Saturday, June 8
Most Needed Items:
- Hearty Soups
- Canned Meat
- Canned Fruit
- Cooking Oil
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Beans
- Dried Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Canned Corn
- Brown Rice
- Long Grain White Rice
- Plain Stewed Tomatoes
- Fruit Cocktail
- Side Dishes
- Soy Milk
- Canned Milk
- Texturized Vegetable Protein
- Side Dishes (Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, etc.)
Especially for Seniors
- Dried Fruits
- Ready made jell-o & pudding
- Ensure protein drinks
- Low-sodium Pull-tab Soups
- Low-sodium Single-
- Low-sodium Crackers
- Green Tea (regular and decaf)
- Canned Vegetables
- Hard Candies
- Toilet Paper