Pantry serving more Gladstone families; Cougars spotted near HV Elementary; Rotary donates to Backpack Buddies; Clackamas Middle College taking applications

Last year, there was more than a 10 percent increase in people seeking free food in Gladstone.

In 2017, the Gladstone Food Pantry provided food for more than 6,000 people, with 1,816 family visits PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone Food Pantry volunteer Stephanie Kurzenhauser prepares vegetable fritters at a cooking the facility. Of those served, 35 percent were youths age 18 or younger, and 12 percent were seniors over age 60.

Gladstone Food Pantry had 1,674 family visits for the 2016 calendar year. The facility is a partner with the Oregon Food Banks. which provides a steady supply of healthy foods, including fresh produce.

Gladstone School District officials run the operation with help from 40 community volunteers and two groups of students from Gladstone High School. Community food donors include churches and local gardeners, as well as Gladstone Public Library, Bob's Red Mill, Dave's Killer Bread and Grocery Outlet.

"We know that with adequate nutrition, kids learn better and families are stabilized," said project leader Leslie Robinette. "The personal connections we build with the neighbors we serve are valued as much as the food we provide."

The Gladstone Food Pantry is open from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The facility is located on the north side of the Gladstone High School campus off Nelson Lane. For more information, call Leslie Robinette at 971-246-0302.

Cougars spotted near HV Elementary

Happy Valley Elementary School has sent out a notice to parents twice this year saying that school officials are taking extra steps to ensure student safety following a nearby cougar sighting.

North Clackamas School District spokesman Jonathan Hutchison said the school wasn't technically put on lockdown, but the students had to stay inside.

"There's no real impact on the schedule, other than children stay inside for their recess or PE," Hutchison said.

Happy Valley Elementary sits on the edge of a wetland area with only partial fencing, since some of its borders are defined by bushes and other greenery. At this time there's no plan to install complete fencing around the school, Hutchison said.

"It's not a crisis issue," he said. "The school district is not of the belief that this happens so frequently that we think it's time to call in a specialist."

Hutchison added that NCSD is monitoring the situation closely to determine whether an increasing frequency of wildlife sightings calls for taking more extreme actions to protect students, such as installing fencing or removing wildlife. He noted that housing developments in the Happy Valley area might be displacing habitat for the cougars, sending them searching for food in nearby areas.

"There is the larger issue of the encroachment of development on wildlife, but that would be a question for a biologist as to what the future portends," he said.

Rotary donates to Gladstone Backpack Buddies

A $3,200 grant from Gladstone/Oak Lodge Rotary will provide 14 weekly food deliveries to 75 families with children in Gladstone Schools.

"Our goal is providing nutritious foods so families are stabilized and children learn better," said program coordinator Leslie Robinette. "Need is increasing as rents rise. This generous grant will allow us to expand the number of children we serve."

Partners in the project include Bob's Red Mill, Dave's Killer Bread, Gladstone First Baptist Church, The Source Church, The Table Church, Gospel Fellowship PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone High seniors Parker Chess [left] and Tanner Depretto prepare food for the 75 families served by Gladstones Backpack Buddies program.Community Church, St. Stephen Lutheran Church, and Gladstone Christian Church.

Gladstone Kids Clothes Closet seeks volunteers

The Gladstone Clothes Closet is seeking volunteers willing to take on a two-hour shift each month. The role includes helping families find clothing for children, sorting donations, and restocking items.

Run by a coalition of four Gladstone churches, the clothes closet is open from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The facility is located on the Gladstone High School campus off Nelson Lane.

To volunteer, contact program coordinator LaRae Applebee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 503-758-4411.

Clackamas Middle College taking applications

Enrollment for Clackamas Middle College opened Jan. 1 for the 2018-19 school year. Applicants can apply at by clicking the "Enroll" button on the right side of the page, completing the application and clicking "Submit." An email will be sent to complete the rest of the application process.

Open-house dates are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and April 16 in the school's commons, 12021 S.E. 82nd Ave.

If students are interested in learning more, there are two shadow dates Feb. 28 and May 16. To register, call Michael Ferber at 503-518-5925, extention 20.

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