More than 650 food boxes go to struggling families
Hungry folks lined up so early at Gresham Station for a food box distribution last week, organizers decided to start an hour ahead of schedule to clear traffic.
"It was a huge success," said Christina Blaser, assistant vice president of marketing for Harsch Investment Properties, which owns Gresham Station.
Philanthropist Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch, donated $20,000 to SnowCap Community Charities for a special food box distribution at the shopping center on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
The donation paid for 1,000 boxes of food. Organizers expected 300-400 boxes to be handed out at the event, with the remainder going back to SnowCap for its regular distributions. But between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the nonprofit loaded 650 boxes into trunks and back seats during the drive-thru at Gresham Station.
"SnowCap was wonderful to work with and they were so prepared for the overwhelming response," Blaser said.
Schnitzer talked with some of the families who had lost jobs and income as coronavirus restrictions sent the economy into a tailspin and unemployment surged. He pitched in and loaded boxes into cars along with Harsch employees, SnowCap volunteers and a few local dignitaries.
Schnitzer said in a statement, "The thought that our neighbors and friends in East County may not have enough food on their table this holiday season breaks our hearts."
Founded in the 1960s, SnowCap provides food, clothing, advocacy and other services to low-income families and individuals, who live east of 82nd Avenue in Multnomah County. It is the largest provider of food assistance in Oregon.
Schnitzer made the donation on behalf of the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.