PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The canned food drive is back at the Waterfront Blues Festival.
You can drop off non-perishable food donations at any gate — they’re looking for thinks like peanut butter, tuna fish, beans, pasta, soups and rice.
All donations go to the Sunshine Division, a local non-profit that supports more than 20,000 households across the metro area.
“We want to get food and clothing into the hands of people who are in crisis,” said Kyle Camberg, the executive director of the Sunshine Division.
The Sunshine Division operates two food and clothing pantries in the Portland area.
“We’re seeing that working families with children by far are accessing our services the most of any of our clients,” Camberg said.
The shelves are stocked almost entirely through donations from the general public.
“So the goal is to provide kind of a market-type experience,” he told KOIN 6 News.
Families, veterans and people on disability all have the opportunity to shop for the food and clothing that works best for them.
“We don’t want to say ‘here’s a sack or here’s a bag of food. We want it to be a very dignified experience where an individual and a family can come in and select the types of foods that are right for them in their household,” Camberg said. “And they’re going to leave with a grocery cart full of food. The average household is going to leave with about 70 pounds.”
The Sunshine Division also provides food boxes for thousands of families during the holidays. Hundreds of local children get to shop with a copy before school starts and local officers and first responders have emergency food boxes that can be distributed at any time.
“There are so many tens of thousands of people who are just struggling to get to that end of the month and make sure that ends meet and they can pay their bills and so hopefully what we do at Sunshine Division for thousands of people is one less crisis is one less barrier that hopefully keeps people stable in their housing,” he said.
Look for the big blue barrels at any of the entrances to the Blues Festival to make donations.