Hunger Fighters Oregon hires first paid employee
As society continues to maneuver its way through the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hunger Fighters Oregon — a nonprofit organization in Lake Oswego that helps combat food insecurity — is evolving in order to help those in need.
"As the pandemic happened and the need in the community increased dramatically, our numbers went up about fourfold," said Christina Fisher, the food pantry's new executive director. "During the pandemic we grew to a point where it really couldn't be volunteer-led anymore."
Fisher was hired July 27 as the nonprofit organization's first paid employee. Fisher said she was ready to take on a larger role and felt it was the "perfect timing for me and for them."
She started volunteering at Hunger Fighters Oregon in 2019.
"When I got here and just saw the need and the organization itself and how well it was run and the passionate people involved in it, it was really nice to be involved and see the direct impact it has here on a local level," Fisher said. "I really fell in love with the organization and the mission, and was excited to take on a larger part in it."
Fisher's duties include day-to-day operations, volunteer management and recruitment, and coordinating food drives with the community.
"I hope to see it transition as we get some more volunteer leaders in place," she said, adding that she would like to eventually be more involved with community education and outreach as well as fundraising.
The food pantry is currently taking applications for new board members, which will be named in January. People can visit the food pantry's website for more information.
For those who are interested in volunteering, there will also be a volunteer orientation at 10 a.m., Oct. 3 at the pantry, 2301 Hazel Road. Space for the orientations are limited, but future orientations are planned.
"We'll be spending more time on events like this as the months go on," said Ami Joshi, president of Hunger Fighters Oregon.
The pantry has plans to eventually extend its hours to weekday evenings, though specific days and times have not been finalized.
Since the start of the pandemic, Hunger Fighters Oregon opened its doors to anyone working in Lake Oswego — previously the pantry served only Lake Oswego residents. Joshi said the pantry wants to ensure area workers can obtain food during weekday hours instead of having to come during a limited timeframe on Saturdays.
"From an organizational perspective and leadership perspective, this changes how we focus on our community and our clientele," Joshi said. "It doesn't really change much in terms of what the public sees."
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