Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin
LA PINE — Employees and volunteers at local food pantries have noticed a lot of new faces and increased demand for their services lately as more families and others who are struggling financially seek free meals.
”It’s been hard on people down here,” Fred Crouch, 71, of La Pine, said of the recession. Crouch was volunteering at the La Pine Community Kitchen on Tuesday.
Shantel Jenkins, 30, was eating at the Community Kitchen with her son, Triston, 3, on Tuesday, and she said the meals are a hit with her children and help the family meet its budget. She also gets produce from the kitchen’s food pantry.
Employees and volunteers at local organizations said there are several ways to help keep the homeless population and others from going hungry — from giving time by volunteering to donating food and money.
Data on homelessness released Friday showed at least 2,237 people — including 876 children — were homeless in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties on Jan. 29, the date volunteers conducted the homeless count. The number increased 29 percent over the 2008 count.
Unemployment was the second most common reason given for being homeless. And on Monday, the state Employment Department reported that February unemployment rates in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties rose to 12.6 percent, 14.4 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.
Brandi Avery, manager of Oasis in Prineville, which provides meals six days a week, said the clientele at the food pantry has changed.
“New people are coming in every day that we’ve never seen,” Avery said.
Food banks welcome donations, volunteers
At the La Pine Community Kitchen, “we could always use more food,” said secretary Carol Crouch, 66.
Packaging on donated food needs to be unopened, said her husband, Fred.
If people want to donate money, they can send checks to the La Pine Community Kitchen, Carol Crouch said. About 10 loyal supporters still contribute from $25 to $100 a month in spite of the recession, Crouch said, and the kitchen also welcomes volunteers.
“That’s the hardest thing to come up with is a cook,” Carol Crouch said.
Steve Murray, the food bank coordinator for NeighborImpact, said food pantries always appreciate food donations and financial contributions also are important because food pantries have operating expenses to cover.
“I always tell people, (donate) whatever they’re comfortable with,” Murray said.
To learn more about how to volunteer with or donate to NeighborImpact, go to www.neighborimpact.org.
Avery, at Oasis, said her organization needs both donations and volunteers to serve meals six days a week. In addition to food and financial contributions, Avery said Oasis always needs paper items, such as plates and cups, and plastic cutlery. The number of people who contribute money is down due to the recession, Avery said.
In Bend, the number of people who come to meals at Bend’s Community Center has increased recently, while financial donations have fallen, said Linda Heatley, human resource manager for the center, which serves hot meals and sack lunches on Sundays.
“There’s a lot of families that come in, a lot of seniors,” Heatley said. “It seems like there’s more families lately.”
“We can always use volunteers and food,” Heatley said. To help at Bend’s Community Center, call for a volunteer application or to get information about making a donation.
The Bethlehem Inn homeless shelter in Bend also needs help preparing food, said Chris Clouart, operations director. Anyone who wants to volunteer can pick up an application at the facility, at 3705 N. U.S. Highway 97, in Bend.
Since the shelter does not have a commercial kitchen, employees cannot prepare food on the premises. Instead, local churches and individual families have stepped in to make meals and bring them to the shelter, Clouart said.
If you can help
• Volunteer opportunities
See a complete list of volunteer opportunities at www.bendbulletin.com/volunteer.
AMERICAN RED CROSS: 541-382-2142.
BEND AREA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: 541-385-5387.
BEND’S COMMUNITY CENTER: Taffy, 541-312-2069.
BETHLEHEM INN: 541-322-8768.
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES/VOLUNTEER SERVICES CROOK COUNTY: Valerie Dean, 541-447-3851, ext. 427.
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES (DHS): 541-447-3851, ext. 427.
FAMILY KITCHEN: Larry Kogovsek, 541-390-1351.
GRANDMA’S HOUSE: 541-383-3515.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY REDMOND: Jim, 541-548-1406.
HIGH DESERT TEENS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM: 541-382-4757 or www.highdesertmuseum.org.
HUNGER PREVENTION COALITION: Marie, 541-385-9227.
Jefferson County Volunteer Services: Therese Helton, 541-475-6131, ext. 208.
LA PINE COMMUNITY KITCHEN: 541-536-1312.
NEIGHBORIMPACT: 541-548-2380, ext. 115, or Elaines@neighborimpact.org .
NEWBERRY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: 541-593-5005.
SISTERS HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: 541-549-1193.
VOLUNTEERS IN MEDICINE: Kristi, 541-585-9008.
Volunteer Insights: 541-385-8977 or www.volunteerinsights.org.
WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER OF CENTRAL OREGON: 541-385-0750.
If you need help
• Emergency food boxes
Community of Christ Church
20380 Cooley Road
Last Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to noon.
St. Vincent de Paul
950 S.E. Third St.
Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Seventh-Day Adventist Center
515 N.E. Dekalb Ave.
Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Salvation Army
755 N.E. Second St.
Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.
La Pine / Sunriver
51484 Morson St.
Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
La Pine Community Pantry
16480 Finley Butte Road
Wednesday and Friday, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Care & Share
541-593-5990 (Call for site info)
Last Friday of the month, 3 to 6 p.m.
Jefferson County Food Bank
Seventh-day Adventist Center
556 S.E. Seventh St.
Tuesday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
240 E. First St.
Monday through Thursday, 2 to 5 p.m.
FISH Food Pantry
Redmond Christian Church
533 S.W. Ninth St.
Monday, Thursday and Friday; call between 8 a.m. and noon, pick up box at 1:30 p.m.
St. Albans (bread and baked goods)
3277 N.W. 10th St.
Friday, 1 to 3 p.m.
1114 S.W. Evergreen Ave.
Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
945 N.W. Glacier Ave.
Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
225 N. Oak St.
Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Smith Rock Community Church
8344 11th St.
Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• brown bag Program
A NeighborImpact program that allows participants to fill a brown bag with grocery items. For information on the Brown Bag Program, call: 541-548-3280
Newport Avenue Church of Christ
108554 N.W. Newport Ave.
Monday at 2:30 p.m.
Sisters Christian Church
302 E. Main Ave.
Pickup second Friday of each month at 5 p.m.
Redmond Community Brown Bag
Redmond Senior Center
325 N.W. Dogwood Ave.
Pickup first Friday of each month at 4 p.m.
Terrebonne Community Brown Bag
Terrebonne Elementary School
199 B St.
Pickup third Wednesday of each month at 5 p.m.
Prineville Community Brown Bag
Pickup third Friday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
• Hot Meals
Bend’s Community Center
1036 N.E. Fifth St.
Hot meal served Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
469 N.W. Wall St.
Dinner served Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m., lunch served Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
La Pine Community Kitchen
Lunch served Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m.
Madras Gospel Mission House
63 S.E. 11th St.
Hot meal served Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but truly needy can stop by mission any time for a hot meal.
Friends Church in Metolius
570 Hood Ave.
Hot meal served Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
398 N.W. Deer St.
Monday through Saturday, coffee and snacks served at 10 a.m., lunch served from noon to 1 p.m.
City Center Foursquare Church
549 S.W. Eighth St.
Hot meal served second and fourth Friday of each month, from 6 to 7 p.m.
325 N.W. Dogwood
Hot meal served Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
• Emergency shelters
3705 N. U.S. Highway 97
The Shepherd’s House
1854 N.E. Division St.