Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, hunger was far too prevalent throughout rural Oregon. It’s no surprise the pandemic has exacerbated the issue.
In Josephine County, a rural region that is home to communities that already face limited access to grocery stores and transportation services, increasing unemployment and school closures created an environment where even more people are struggling with food insecurity. Kim Collins, Executive Director of the Josephine County Food Bank, reports that they have seen a 50% client increase since January 2020.
“Currently, we help to feed an average of 13,000 individuals every month,” said Collins. “In two areas alone, we used to serve 600 individuals a month, but once COVID-19 hit, it increased to up to 1200.”
With a grant from the Roundhouse Foundation in December 2020, the Josephine County Food Bank purchased two pallets of cardboard boxes for their Grab & Go Box program, which serves a combined average of 665 boxes of food to 1019 adults and 218 children each month. These boxes are a current necessity to be able to distribute food to communities, as COVID-19 restrictions have limited the ways Food Bank staff can distribute food safely.
Learn more and support the Josephine County Food Bank.