PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – High food prices and inflation are stretching the budgets of local families — putting extra pressure on the nonprofits that help keep food on the table for thousands in need, including the Sunshine Division.
KOIN 6 News’ Jeff Gianola tagged along with the non-profit for a special Thanksgiving delivery with Portland police officer Matt Tobey delivering Thanksgiving food to Yulia Lewis and her three little boys.
For Lewis, a single mother, the gift of food means they will have something to eat for Thanksgiving.
“It means everything to me,” Lewis told KOIN 6 News.
Deliveries to those in need begin at the Sunshine Division’s north Portland warehouse where volunteers are busy packing and distributing boxes of food to hundreds who have lined up outside. The non-profit even set a record for their busiest day since they began their food box program 100 years ago.
“Last week, we served almost twice as many families as we did the previous year and that was one of our busiest years ever. And so, the need just in general has skyrocketed,” said Sunshine Division Executive Director Kyle Camberg.
Officer Tobey is the Portland officer assigned to Sunshine Division. He personally knows and cares for hundreds of people and families who depend on the non-profit for food and other things.
“We deal with a lot of difficult circumstances and unfortunate events, and this gives us the chance to, you know, see someone and leave them with a little light in their home,” Tobey said. “I like to think about what their hope is for the holidays before Thanksgiving, and it makes me even more grateful.”
Donations to the Sunshine Division can be made through the organization’s website.
Join KOIN 6 News on Dec. 1 for a special Day of Giving to learn more about the people helped by the Sunshine Division.