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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2020 


GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander comes to the defense of Dr. Anthony Fauci; the NAACP goes to bat over student debt and Election 2020.


2020Talks - October 20, 2020 


Early voting starts in Florida, and North Carolina allows election officials to start the ballot curing process. Plus, Trump's attacks on Dr. Fauci.

OR Food Bank Distribution to Needy Tops 1 Million – Again

PHOTO: The garden at CCA Food Bank of Clatsop County. Photo courtesy of CCA Food Bank of Clatsop County.
PHOTO: The garden at CCA Food Bank of Clatsop County. Photo courtesy of CCA Food Bank of Clatsop County.
September 20, 2012

ONTARIO, Ore. - Requests for food to help stretch Oregon paychecks reached another high in the past year, according to the Oregon Food Bank.

The 1.124 million emergency boxes its network distributed from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, represent a 10 percent increase from the previous year. And yet, the federal food commodities it receives have dropped by more than half.

At the Clatsop Regional Food Bank in Astoria, director Marlin Martin says they've had to get creative to fill the gap. The food bank has planted its own garden, and takes in fresh fish and game, donated or confiscated by state agencies.

"The canned and boxed commodities, whether they come from USDA Commodities or from the regular donation system - they're just down. They're down, down, down. So, we are processing and growing food right here at our food bank, to get into the food system."

Some of the most rural counties have been hardest hit, and people can't always afford to drive to the nearest food bank warehouse. In southeast Oregon, a refrigerated truck now serves as a mobile pantry. On Friday, says branch manager Peter Lawson, the truck will be in the town of Arock, a 200-mile round trip from the warehouse in Ontario.

"Part of our focus is getting fresh fruit and vegetables to those communities. But were it not for that monthly distribution, there would be a real access problem there. And even with that, it's challenging."

Lawson says retailers, farmers and home gardeners have been generous in their donations. With the threat of more cuts to federal food programs, he's hoping for a good local harvest this fall.

"We always say that instead of leaving that big box of zucchini on the neighbor's doorstep, ringing the doorbell and running away, you can bring it down to the food bank and really end up serving some folks."

An emergency food box contains a three- to five-day supply of groceries, and the Oregon Food Bank says the typical family visits a food pantry about four times a year. The Oregon Food Bank network feeds 270,000 people per month – about one-third of them children – in Oregon and Clark County, Wash.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR