Union County CAN

By Observer editorial November 04, 2010 12:35 pm
Who would have thought back in September 2008, when the Union County CAN food drive was conceived to address the large number of layoffs in our area, that two years later food insecurity would remain a big concern in our region. But it has. The Great Recession continues to take a bite out of families’ resources, and our local food banks need to be able to meet the ongoing need.
So, for the third straight fall, the ad hoc Union County Community Action Network will pull together its volunteer resources and man donation bins at area grocery stores Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, the annual door-to-door Scouting for Food drive will occur at the same time. The scouts will also do pick-ups. Call 541-624-5699.

All kinds of non-perishable foods are needed at the food bank pantries. Personal care products  such as toilet paper, soap and shampoo are also needed.

Two years ago, no one foresaw such a lengthy recession. While some local businesses, such as our RV plants, were able to restore many of the positions that were laid off, many still have not. The sawmill remains closed. Other companies’ cutbacks, curtailments and wage cuts remain in effect. Times are tough, and at present there are not many options available to those who find themselves without work or whose paychecks are smaller than they once were. Many households are struggling to make ends meet. For some, being able to afford the rent or mortgage payment means skimping on food, and that’s where the food banks come in.

The recession has placed a greater demand on food banks all across the state. Union County CAN was started to help provide an extra boost just prior to when the many holiday food drives begin. The goal is to restock those pantries and help the food banks help more people.

Many businesses, government entities and the university are involved in the effort. Five businesses gave this year’s CAN drive a huge kick-start recently by each donating about $1,000 worth of food. Anderson-Perry, Banner Bank, Horizon Wind, Mountain Valley Therapy and Pepsi all chipped in to give the drive a great start.

Come Saturday, the community as a whole has a chance to chime in. Donations will be collected in bins set up outside Grocery Outlet, Alberston’s, Safeway and Walmart from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s always rewarding to watch people respond to the food drive. People do what they can, whether it’s dropping in a can or two or maybe a few cases of food. The stores also have supported the effort by bringing out carts of food to the donation bins.

Whatever you can do, please help. Every donation will make a difference. Show that when it comes to helping meet the needs of our community, Union County CAN.