PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As the pandemic and rising grocery prices continue to hit families in need in our area, the Sunshine Division is once again working to give those families a Thanksgiving meal this holiday.
Twenty months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sunshine Division is facing a greater need to deliver food with fewer resources, according to the non-profit’s executive director.
“We’re four times as busy as we ever were before 2019,” Kyle Camberg told KOIN 6 News. “So that’s our new normal.”
The Portland Police Bureau and the Sunshine Division have worked together feeding families for nearly 100 years.
“Giving somebody a box of food helps us especially this time of year to make a connection, face to face with somebody,” PPB Officer Matt Tobey, a community liaison with Sunshine Division, said. “Having an officer come to your door with a box of food or a Thanksgiving meal, we can spend a little time with them even if it’s three or four minutes, get to know us briefly and know that we’re here to help them.”
Last year, Tobey delivered food to the home of Yulia Lewis, a single mom of three who had been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic. A year later, Tobey was able to check back in with Lewis and her three sons as he delivered a Thanksgiving meal and hugs.
“It means that we are not forgotten, that we are taken care of, that we are supported and protected and it’s making our kids happy,” Lewis told KOIN 6 News. “As a single mother, it’s so special to me.”
Ahead of Thanksgiving this year, KOIN 6 is partnering with Sunshine Division to raise funds for the non-profit as it sees an increased need to feed members of our community during these unprecedented times. Click here to donate now.