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Holiday season brings expected surge in need; Jefferson County Food Bank prepared

PAT KRUIS/MADRAS PIONEER - Volunteer Mark Carman displays the typical grocery cart available for a family of four at the Jefferson County Food bank. The Food Bank operates out of a building at 556 SE 7th on the campus of the Madras Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Volunteer Mark Carman spent the better part of the day loading and unloading, sorting and stocking 8,000 pounds of food in anticipation of high demand this Thanksgiving week.

"Two weeks ago, we had 33 people. Last week, we had 67. This week, we expect 80 or more." Carman says demand often grows at the end of the month when food stamps run out. Combined with the Thanksgiving holiday, he expects a busy food bank this week.

Carman walks through the aisles thrilled with the abundance and variety of food available for those who need it. They stocked the shelves in anticipation. "We'll have enough."

Carman is filling in for Paul Rueter, the director of the program.

"It feels good," says Carman of being able to help those in need. He recognizes it's hard for people to come to a food bank. "I had person who couldn't look me in the eye. I asked her, 'How many are we feeding today.' She said, 'There's three of us. This is hard. It's our first time.' I gave her a few extra goodies."

The Jefferson County Food Bank operates out of a building at 556 SE Seventh St. on the campus of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. They hand out food every Tuesday from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

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