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Holiday food drive meets its goal

A last-minute donation of $10,000 from Kaleidoscope Pizzeria and Pub helped ACCESS achieve its fundraising goal for a holiday food drive.

“It pushed us over the edge today,” said Pam Slater, ACCESS development director.

Her organization thought it was going to come up short of its goal of getting $40,000 in donations by Dec. 31. When Kaleidoscope heard ACCESS needed more donations, the popular Medford pizza parlor made its contribution, bringing the total to $42,337.

“That money helps us turn every dollar into four meals,” Slater said. “This campaign helps restock our shelves for January and February.”

With the donations in hand, ACCESS will have enough food on hand for 168,000 meals.

The Food for Hope Drive attempts to raise money and donations of food just after Christmas, when 24 food pantries served by ACCESS in the valley are running low. This year, the shelves were severely depleted, Slater said. 

"Thanks to our generous donors and the community for stepping up the last few days — and especially the $10,000 Kaleidoscope donation," Slater said.

Only half of the goal of 30,000 pounds of food was received during the food drive, she said.

ACCESS provides the food but doesn't prepare the actual meals, except for a senior meals program, Slater said.

The organization serves 25,000 families in the area, providing food to low-income residents, seniors and people with disabilities.

In 2014, ACCESS provided 4 million pounds of food and loaned more than 4,300 pieces of medical equipment. The organization also helped 17,166 persons find a warm place to stay during the cold winter season.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @reporterdm.