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Corbett-based nonprofit pantry makes dent in Columbia River Gorge food insecurity

COURTESY PHOTO: HELPING HANDS - Twice a week the Columbia Gorge Helping Hands Food Salvage Program feeds hungry rural residents. A nonprofit organization is making a dent in rural hunger thanks to dedicated volunteers.

Columbia Gorge Helping Hands Food Salvage Program provides food assistance to residents of Corbett and the neighboring unincorporated communities east and north of the Sandy River. Situated in the heart of Corbett, along the Historic Columbia River Highway, Helping Hands is providing a service for folks far away from other food pantries.

Every Monday and Thursday afternoon Helping Hands distributed donated items to more than 1,500 food-insecure individuals and families throughout the gorge — including Corbett, Cascade Locks, Aims, Bridal Veil, Springdale and other rural communities. Those shopping days also allow neighbors to connect, form friendships and create a network of support.

COURTESY PHOTO: HELPING HANDS - Helping Hands offers a wide array of food, including fresh produce.  There is fresh produce, canned goods, frozen meals, bakery items, grains and rice.

The nonprofit organization also receives dated and damaged items that can be distributed to local farms, with a goal of zero waste.

The pantry, 37493 Grange Hall Road, is open Monday and Thursday, with set hours for food insecure residents to get support. From 1-2 p.m. it is open for ages 55 and older and vulnerable shoppers; all ages can shop from 2-6 p.m. Visitors can fill two shopping bags with food for $10.

All of this is powered by a team of more than 100 dedicated volunteers, who commit thousands of hours and travel many miles a month to gather, sort and distribute donated food.

Learn more, including ways to donate or volunteer, at columbiagorgehelpinghands.com.


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