Gladstone Food Pantry secures funding
After closing for two months due to school district funding cuts, the Gladstone Food Pantry reopened in August under the temporary leadership of volunteers Ruthann Aurentz and Alex Van Pelt.
Now, thanks to grants and donations, the pantry has the funds it needs to hire a part-time manager for the 70-volunteer operation beginning this winter in partnership with Northwest Family Services.
Funds for the project include a $15,000 grant from Clackamas County, a $5,000 grant from Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, and over a dozen substantial contributions from local businesses and individuals.
Gladstone Schools provides a site for the pantry on the Gladstone High School campus. They also cover utility costs and have committed to $6,200 in funding for each of the next three years.
A team lead by volunteer Andi Blackwell continues working to raise the grants and donations needed to provide a part-time manager for the pantry. The program seeks $9,281 in additional funding to ensure the program will continue through December 2021.
For more information, call Andi Blackwell at 503-558-6541. Donations can be mailed to: Gladstone Education Foundation, c/o Gladstone Food Pantry, 17789 Webster Road, Gladstone, OR 97027
"The Gladstone Food Pantry is a vital resource to hundreds of struggling families in our community, so we've taken a strategic fundraising approach to ensure it does not limp along from year to year," Blackwell said.
"It's been truly heartwarming to see the way the community continues to step up to support the pantry and those who are most in need. We are in this for the long haul, and look forward to seeing this continue to grow and serve. We are also exploring additional opportunities with the city of Gladstone and Clackamas County's Health Blueprint fund."
During the 2017-18 school year, the pantry served 7,325 individuals from 2,189 households. Of those served, 85 percent are children and their families or caregivers, and 66 percent are from neighborhoods in or around Gladstone.
The Gladstone Food Pantry partners with the Oregon Food Bank, providing 60 families a week with free groceries, nutrition education and a supportive community. It is located on the north side of the Gladstone High School campus off Nelson Lane. Operating hours are from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. All are welcome.