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Prineville's Grocery Outlet will join other stores throughout the chain in its annual fundraiser, which this year will benefit the local Family Access Network

JASON CHANEY - Prineville Grocery Outlet owners Lambert and Rhonda Bourgo pause for a photo with Emily Woodworth, development specialist for Family Access Network, the organization benefitting from the annual fundraiser.Prineville's Grocery Outlet will be taking donations during a monthlong campaign to fight hunger that is slated to start this week.

"Every Grocery Outlet in the business does Independence from Hunger fundraisers," explained Rhonda Bourgo, who owns the local store with her husband, Lambert. "We pick a partner in our community, and we raise funds to then turn around and give to that partner."

This year, the Prineville Grocery Outlet store selected the local Family Access Network (FAN) organization. FAN provides advocates who connect a child or parent to essential services such as food, shelter, heating, health care, clothing and more with the goal of keeping children healthy and in school.

"One hundred percent of everything we raise will got to them in the form of gift cards," Bourgo said. "We are going to raffling off some items. Each week, we will be raffling off a gift bag or a grocery bag with food and gift cards from local businesses."

The Independence from Hunger fundraiser launches on Wednesday, June 29 and will continue at the Prineville store through the month of July. People can donate in a variety of ways.

"When people come in, they can donate $5. They will get a $5 coupon back on their receipt, so it's really a win-win," Bourgo said. "They can round up their change to the nearest dollar. They can just drop their change in the buckets at the end of the check stands if they would like."

Past events have provided the chosen charity a generous amount of money. The 2020 fundraiser managed to raise $7,500 in spite of the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Past event also collected food and cash donations, but Grocery Outlet has recently opted to limit donations to cash due to the pandemic and because labor shortages have reduced available staff, making it difficult to put together the food bags that went to organizations or families in need.

"(With gift cards and cash donations) Family Access Network can use them for whatever needs they have there immediately, or they can give gift cards to people who are coming in needing food."

Lastly, Bourgo wants to stress that "every penny raised" will go to the Family Access Network organization in Prineville.

"There is no administrative cost that we will pull out, won't go to Madras, Redmond or Bend," she said. "All the money will stay here and go to our Family Access Network."

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