Clackamas Service Center gains 'powerful' tool to fight hunger
Clackamas Service Center will be having a ribbon cutting ceremony at its new warehouse. This creates a second location for the nonprofit organization to serve unsheltered people and families experiencing food insecurity.
Clackamas Service Center Executive Director Debra Mason is celebrating the recent opening of a new 8,000-square-foot warehouse in Clackamas County to meet the growing need for food aid while also providing logistics support for smaller food-aid organizations. Mason sees the warehouse with walk-in refrigeration and shelving as part of a multi-year capital campaign that will facilitate the expansion of CSC's main site at 8800 S.E. 80th Ave., which only had a 1,500-square-foot basement to store food.
"The food hub is a critical new piece of infrastructure that makes it possible for us to receive, store and distribute nutritious, family-friendly, culturally preferred foods at a much larger scale, creating efficiencies and maximizing community impact," she said. "This powerful new tool will dramatically enhance not only our own food distribution program, but also food distribution programs operated by grassroots organizations across Clackamas County."
North Clackamas Chamber members will help cut the ribbon for CSC's new warehouse at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, at 8937 S.E. Jannsen Road, in the Clackamas Business Center complex.
CSC serves 3,000 households in Clackamas and Multnomah counties each month will showers, hot meals, groceries, medical care, mailboxes and clothing. Mason is proud of how CSC adapted to the significant challenges that the pandemic posed to CSC and its members.
"Rather than asking community members to visit our center and risk COVID-19 exposure, we pivoted to a community-based model that included home delivery of customized grocery boxes," she said.
CSC launched series of collaborations with a range of community partners to better serve BIPOC communities, including Feed the Mass, the Immigrant Mutual Aid Coalition and the Asian Health and Services Center. A pilot collaboration with the North Clackamas School District is providing kid-friendly, culturally relevant grab-and-go grocery boxes available to anyone in need during school meals at two elementary schools with high percentages of low-income families.
"Our Spanish-speaking member specialist has been able to connect directly with dozens of Spanish-speaking families who did not know about CSC, expanding our reach among the population that has been hit hardest by COVID-19 in our community," Mason said of the NCSD program.
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