Help fill the need
ACCESS' Food for Hope drive is running behind again as demand for meals grows
Every year for decades we have sponsored a Christmas-season food and fund drive with ACCESS to help the agency fill its pantries for the coming cold months. Every year, it seems, we need to put out a plea for one last generous effort from our readers to help get the drive to its goal.
This year is no different, as the Food for Hope drive is running behind on its goals of bringing in 30,000 pounds of food and $30,000. But, rather than work up a plea to tug at your heartstrings, we thought we'd simply pass along some of the facts provided us by ACCESS.
If you need convincing, consider these facts from the agency's efforts in fiscal year 2013:
- ACCESS distributed 41,106 emergency food boxes to families (a 7 percent increase over the previous year).
- ACCESS fed 23,998 individuals in Jackson County, a 12 percent increase over 2011.
- An estimated 10,000 residents every month ate meals from emergency food boxes provided by ACCESS.
- Soup kitchens served 101,099 meals locally.
- Children represent 33 percent of those ACCESS is helping to feed.
- ACCESS distributed a total of 3.15 million pounds (more than 60,000 pounds weekly) of food to more than 40 local partner agencies.
- For the second year in a row, distribution of emergency food boxes in Oregon and southwest Washington topped 1 million.
- In July, 4,055 families, the highest monthly number ever, received emergency food through ACCESS.
- For every dollar donated, ACCESS can provide four meals for hungry families.
- A typical emergency food box provides a five- to seven-day supply of groceries, and on average, recipient households turn to pantries about four times a year.
You can make a difference. A donation of $30 can feed a family of four for a month. Make it $90 and help three families for a month. It may pinch your budget, but it will help people for whom living with a pinched budget often means choosing between paying the rent and putting food on the table.
Help them, please, in this season of giving. You can drop off bags of groceries at any local fire station, any Umpqua Bank branch, Sherm's Thunderbird or Food 4 Less. Even better, you can mail a donation to ACCESS Food for Hope, P.O. Box 4666, Medford, OR 97501 or make a donation online by going to www.accesshelps.org and clicking on "Bag Hunger / Food For Hope Drive."
Take a couple of minutes and help make a family's Christmas merrier and its holidays happier. You might just find you've done the same for yourself.
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