May 2020 What’s happening this month?

Thanks to the generous outpouring of financial and volunteer support from YOU, the community, the ROC is operating at full steam! The COVID19 crisis had forced us to temporarily reduce our hours of operation but fortunately it only lasted for a short time and we have now resumed our regular hours of distribution on Thursdays from 1-5pm and Saturdays from 9am to 12noon. In order to accommodate a larger group of people in need than normal (due to the pandemic), we have changed the process of how we distribute food. Not only will our new process be more efficient, but it will go further to help reduce cross-contamination between those that use our services, thereby helping insure their continued safety.

Our new process begins with ROC patrons entering through the driveway of the Gospel Rescue Mission parking lot (across from A-1 Market) and driving towards our back entrance. There is a pathway that is well marked. As people enter the ROC property a staff member will come and gather some information in preparation for our team to load up groceries into their vehicle. Once they’re loaded up they can drive out through our exit on Booth Street. It’s that simple and folks never have to leave their car!

ROC patrons that do not own a vehicle can receive weekly home delivery which takes place Thursday mornings from 9 to 11am. The ROC Food Pantry is the ONLY food pantry in Josephine County that provides home delivery services. The overwhelming majority of our home delivery customers are seniors and folks shut in their homes who are unable to shop for groceries on their own. How important is it to know that people in your community care enough about you to provide such a life line?!?

When you support the ROC Food Pantry you are giving hope! When a family worries about paying the rent or putting food on the table it can feel hopeless because of what they can’t do. Hope really comes in cans! “I can feed my child for another week!” Remember, it costs us an average of $4.23 to provide a box of groceries for a family in need. Because of your support our shelves are full of cans.

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