As the holiday season approaches, Central Oregon’s local hunger relief agencies are serving record numbers of people, 20,000 individuals a month.

Food drives provide an important resource in the fight against hunger by supplying more than 6% of the 2.5 million pounds, or nearly four of the 62 semi trucks of food, the agency distributes every year.

“Central Oregon is a thoughtful and generous community,” comments Food Resource Specialist Sandy Klein. “We are fortunate to receive a great deal of support from 15 area grocers who donated a record amount of food last year. Unfortunately, we cannot succeed at meeting the need for food resources in Central Oregon without the support of grassroots community based food drives.”

Food drives are important to assisting families with food insecurity and provide some of the most nutritious food received by the Food Bank. These items include canned meats, hearty soups and canned fruits and vegetables. To start your own food drive, visit the NeighborImpact website (http://www.neighborimpact.org/services/food/donate-food/).

“Next to donations, and volunteering, this is one of the best ways an individual can change food insecurity issues in their community,” comments Communications Manager Chris Quaka. “We anticipate that flat program budgets and or funding cuts will continue to affect the families served by food banks and soup kitchens in Central Oregon. Without continued community support, we will be unable to meet the basic needs of our neighbors.”

To learn more about NeighborImpact’s Food Bank visit www.neighborimpact.org or e mail Sandy Klein at sandyk@neighborimpact.org