COVID19 – Community in Crisis

It’s a hard thing being hired as a new director of an organization only to have worldwide panic ensue shortly thereafter.  Caring for those in need in our community along with our staff & volunteers, all while trying to insure that your organization survives to the other side of the crisis is nothing short of a monumental task.  We will survive this, but like all of you, the ROC must make some changes in order to remain a strong and vital resource for years to come.  I’m writing this to share with you what these changes will entail.

The first change many of you have already felt is the discontinuance of our home food delivery service.  As funding has tightened up we simply could not afford the expense of this service any longer.  We will seek future grant funding to enable us to offer this important resource in the future, but until further notice we have had to discontinue this service.  If you have received this service in the past you will be among the first we contact when and if we are able to resume delivery services.

Next, and with a heavy heart, is the reduction of our regular food distribution days (Thursday & Saturday) from twice weekly to twice monthly.  The COVID19 pandemic has caused us to postpone our Soup for the Soul spring fundraiser which traditionally gave a huge boost to our operational and food expenses.  Many of our volunteers and clients are among those most at risk of exposure to this virus and its damaging effects.  To prepare for this loss and to help insure the health & safety of our staff and volunteers I felt it best to reduce our hours of operation. 

Our monthly food distribution days will take place on the last week of each month (still Thursday & Saturday), timed specifically to meet the shortfall in SNAP benefits that many experience towards the end of the month.  We will however be open from 11am to 5pm on Thursdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.  These are longer than our previous hours to try to better serve an anticipated longer line of people.  We have also arranged with the Josephine County Food Bank to have a “pop-up” food box distribution each Tuesday from 11am to 1pm.  This will mean that you can get a pre-prepared box of food essentials directly from the JoCo Food Bank truck, which should be a fairly quick process.

My goal is to continue to raise funds and support in such a way that not only do we return to business as usual as quickly as possible, but to improve upon the best of what we have done!  I strongly believe that people find more dignity from a hand up than a handout.  I deeply appreciate your patience and prayers as we face these trials together. We exist because we believe that Jesus is the one who can see us through and calm every storm!

Luke 8:22-25

Brian Bouteller – Executive Director

Vacation is over…gearing up for fall

My long vacation is over and as I return to work I can already sense that we are gearing up for the fall season. There are some specific needs that we have right now that I want to mention first. We are in desperate need of mens clothing. Our shelves have been bare for weeks and when we do get in a few jeans or shirts, they fly out of the door quickly. Our socks box has also been empty for weeks. These are important items for our clients. Please, if you can help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated.

We are also planning for our Fall Family Festival on October 14. This fun event will include games, raffles, pies, food for purchase, and a huge and very cheap rummage sale. W like to think of this as a “give back” to the community for the continued support. Save the date: October 14 from 11 until 3. It is going to be lots of fun.

July Update from the ROC

Greetings from Reaching Our Community Food Bank. This is a new post, just starting, and hopefully updating from time to time. Thanks to Kristin and John Noveske of imainstreet for training and allowing us to have more control over this web page. Keep watching this post for news, updates, and information as we move forward and keep serving those in need in our community.

God has been good to the ROC this summer and we are very grateful for all of the grants, assistance, and local helpers that have brought so much to our summer. Gardeners bringing in surplus produce have made our distribution weeks so bountiful. Babe’s Bakery and Heavenly Sweets continue to bring us surplus baked goods. We have also purchased food from Food for Less in Medford and dairy from Umpqua this summer to supplement our regular food resources from the Josephine County Food Bank.

Our numbers are on the rise! We heard in early July that our food stamp clients were getting cuts, some as much as 50% or more. That means that we will have new clients, people will require more help, and our jobs will continue to increase in work and service.

In early July a young lady went to this website and looked at our needs list. Then she went out and purchased as many of the tings as she could for us. That included personal needs items and food. When she arrived on a Saturday, her vehicle was literally packed full with items for the ROC. In all there were 348 pounds of food and personal items! Why did she do this? She was going to be baptized on the day following and wanted to do something to commemorate that. Awesome!

So this inaugural column is ready for you to read and digest. As always, volunteers are welcome, donations of food and clothing are welcome, and donations of money are also much appreciated. And you can give passively by linking your Fred Meyer rewards card to the ROC, or linking up on Amazon Smiles.

Look for more human interest columns coming in the near future.

God. Bless. Ron McCallum, Executive Director