Libraries — Cook Memorial Library facade

Cook Memorial Library in La Grande announced the reception of a new grant from Oregon Rural Action on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, which will create a stock of food preservation items available for rentals. The eight preservation items will be available for three-week rental starting on Nov. 22.

LA GRANDE — A recent grant is paving the way to help add more food security in the area.

Cook Memorial Library announced on Thursday, Nov. 18, that it received a grant from Oregon Rural Action in the amount of $1,620 to create a food preservation library. The project will create a stock of food preservation items that can be checked out from the library, including pressure canners, fermentation crocks, food dehydrators, water bath canners and books on food preservation.

Community member Meghan Moore came up with the idea for the food preservation library project in La Grande.

“The long and short of the food preservation library is, I really wanted to help local people preserve local food without spending hundreds of dollars on equipment,” Moore said in a press release. “The idea of the grant came from attending a food insecurity conference hosted by Oregon Rural Action.”

The eight total food preservation items will be added to the library’s “library of things,” which is a collection of items other than books that can be rented out. In the summer months, this included yard games and outdoor equipment.

“It was great of Meghan to bring this forward and Oregon Rural Action for granting us this money,” said Carrie Bushman, the interim director at Cook Memorial Library.

According to Bushman, the library will have the food preservation items ready for check-out by Monday, Nov. 22.

The items will be rented out on a three-week basis throughout the year, with no renewals. The library also used the grant funding to add eight books that inform patrons how to use the equipment and preserve food. Any library card holders are eligible to rent out the preservation equipment.

For more information on library programs, the staff can be contacted at 541-962-1339.

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