You Gave Our Vulnerable Neighbors in Salem and Turner Clean Drinking Water

By Published On: August 6th, 2018
Young Children and Homebound Seniors Were Among the Thousands Who Received Free Bottled Water During the Advisory

Every day, your support provides healthy food to our hungry neighbors in communities throughout Marion and Polk counties. This includes nearly 400 seniors and disabled adults in Salem and Keizer who receive a nutritious meal delivered at their doorstep each weekday.

For five weeks early this summer, you made it possible to continue that important work, while also making sure that our most vulnerable neighbors had enough safe water to drink.

One of those neighbors you served is Jennifer. She has compromised immunity and can’t drive or lift heavy items due to her health issues.

A volunteer through our Meals on Wheels program showed up at her door with a smile and a case of bottled water.

You gave her access to clean, safe drinking water that is vital to her well-being.

“It was wonderful when they showed up; I did not expect it,” Jennifer said. “I felt like crying.”

The water advisory started at an especially difficult time for Jennifer as she was awaiting surgery. She needed safe drinking water, plus extra bottled water for her CPAP machine.

“I honestly don’t think I could have survived without it,” Jennifer said.

Despite her own difficulties, Jennifer was able to extend your goodwill to another. She gave a disabled, Hispanic neighbor some extra bottled water when she became aware of her need.

You also gave home-bound senior, Richard, bottled water during the advisory. Richard, who became a Meals on Wheels client at the beginning of this year, lives alone.

“I thought it was terrific for Meals on Wheels to bring me water,” Richard said. “They take good care of us.”

Because of you, the Food Share has services in place every day that easily allowed for the additional storage, distribution and delivery of bottled water.

As the advisory began on the evening of May 29, the first couple of days were especially difficult for many in our community.

Many people who receive paychecks or benefits at the beginning of each month didn’t have funds to cover the unexpected expense.

Distribution began to our network of food pantries, meal sites, shelters, and partner organizations on Thursday, May 31 and continued into July. This bottled water was given to young children and their mothers, along with anyone else affected by the advisory.

Two of those community food pantries, run by nonprofit Mano a Mano, are located in NE Salem and in SE Salem. Between their two pantries, nearly 1,000 gallons of free water were sent home with families and individuals.

“It’s been so encouraging to see how many people have come together to help their most vulnerable neighbors,” Rick Gaupo, President of Marion Polk Food Share, said.

Because of you, everyone in our community has access to healthy food and safe drinking water.

We wish to say a special thank you to our generous partners at Fred Meyer, Oregon Food Bank, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and WinCo for donating truckloads of bottled water.