Maria, an employee of Family Building Blocks, picks up food for her clients with help from volunteer Rick at AWARE Food Bank in Woodburn.
Thanks to your generous support, AWARE Food Bank continues to provide the Woodburn community with food, resources, and kindness during a time of high need.
During the holiday months, more than 100 families visited AWARE each day, and service numbers continue to remain high today. AWARE is now serving neighbors in need at levels similar to those at the height of the pandemic.
With key pandemic-era food relief programs coming to an end, demand for food assistance is expected to remain extraordinarily high. Low-income families struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing costs of groceries, housing and other essentials will continue to seek support at AWARE and other pantries throughout our community.
During these times of uncertainty, food pantries provide an essential resource for people needing help making ends meet. AWARE continues to meet this need by offering choice-based food pantry service, conducting evening and mobile food distributions to reach local farmworkers, and providing pantry guests with connections to healthcare, transportation, and other resources. AWARE staff and volunteers are ensuring food is being distributed intentionally to the right people at the right time.
Veronica shops with her sons, Joshua and Marcelano, during an AWARE Food Bank evening distribution.
“At the end of the day, they are our neighbors, and we’re trying to remind them that we care about them,” says Ben, a Community Programs Coordinator with Marion Polk Food Share and former Interim Manager of AWARE Food Bank. “AWARE is doing a great job at that.”
Food pantries meet a physical need for food, but they also meet an emotional need for people to make connections and experience kindness.
AWARE responds to this as much as possible by allowing families the autonomy and space to shop for themselves along with ensuring culturally relevant food choices are available.
“Community support helps us be responsive to specific cultural needs regarding diets, says Ben. “More than half of our clients are Spanish speakers. Offering food that fits their cuisine helps them feel more welcome, making our resources more valuable to them.”
AWARE Food Bank and the Food Share would like to thank Oregon Community Recovery Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, The Collins Foundation, Unitus Community Credit Union, Withers Lumber, and community members like you. Your support is providing a helping hand to families during a time of record high need for our neighbors in Woodburn.