During a ceremony Monday, July 18, the Hunger Fighters of Oregon cut the ribbon to mark the opening of its new location at 4 Monroe Parkway near the New Seasons Market in Mountain Park. Hunger Fighters had previously served residents at its former Lake Oswego Junior High School location since 2014.
The organization, which started as an after-school club at the junior high and provides food and hygiene items to those in need, had seen a significant uptick in clients seeking its services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Executive Director Christina Fisher said at the event that demand had grown 360% during the last two years.
She added that the new location is a more inviting space, and larger, which allows for the return of in-store shopping. The pantry is also open four days a week instead of three. The Lake Oswego School District will use the former space at the junior high school for outdoor classes.
"We grew really fast during the pandemic and everything was react, react, react — and this move allowed us to be more reactive and put some infrastructure in place that wasn't there before," she said.
Ami Joshi, past president of the organization, said the new space has already led to more foot traffic and that they can store more inventory.
"This is one continuous space where we can actually do with it what we need," she said. "Having a front area where clients can shop in, a back area where we can store inventory, it's bright, has running water and restrooms and things like that. It's a nice, welcoming atmosphere. The location is also ideal for us especially with the traffic and visibility."
During a speech, Mayor Joe Buck said it's a misnomer that there is not a need for such services in Lake Oswego — and that the need in fact may be greater than people know.
Fisher encouraged the community to volunteer for the organization, donate or start a food drive. For more information, visit hungerfightersoregon.org.
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