Oregon Food Bank helping stock school food pantry in Gladstone

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:19 AM PST
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GLADSTONE, Ore. (KPTV) - For the Hunger Free Project, FOX 12 stopped by the Gladstone School Food Pantry to see how your donations to the Oregon Food Bank are impacting the community there.

On a quiet, calm morning at the Gladstone School Food Pantry, volunteers stock shelves and freezers, preparing for this week’s delivery from the Oregon Food Bank, much of it being fresh produce.

“Currently, we are helping 70-plus households that come shopping through our pantry every week,” said Alex Van Pelt.

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Van Pelt is the manager for the school food pantry.

“We are partnering with the local senior center. They do deliveries to homebound seniors,” Van Pelt said. “We also help a low income resident facility that just opened here last summer. We also see a lot of community members pick up food for their neighbors who are elderly and can’t get out.”

They also work with an elementary school to provide food for kids to take home.

“Anyone who has gone to the grocery store lately they can see the rise in costs. When they are able to come here and get apples for school lunches, oranges, we get lettuce, we’ve got squash. Just a whole variety of produce. It really helps,” said Van Pelt.

The food pantry’s impact is moving.

“I had somebody come and tell me that I’m literally saving his life by being open,” Van Pelt said. “I’ve also had people tell me that if we weren’t here they wouldn’t eat at all. I am grateful to be here and that we operate.”

Van Pelt says to those who may need help:

“Know that there are resources out there for them. It takes a lot of courage for someone to make that first step and ask for help. We really just want them to come.”

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And to those who may want to help, Van Pelt says, “Whatever area you are in, find a pantry. If you have a few extra hours, we are always looking for volunteers. We need the manpower to be able to bring in the food and distribute it out.”

FOX 12 is partnering with Fred Meyer for the FOX 12 Hunger Free Project to help benefit those in need in our community. We’ve been raising money for the Oregon Food Bank all month. If you would like to donate, click here.