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Neighborhood Missions program to feed Hoodland residents with monthly food box pickup

In small communities, though amenities may be hard to find, people usually have one thing in spades — a genuine desire to help.

Neighborhood Missions, a nonprofit group run through the Hoodland Lutheran Church, has a new endeavor called the free food market.

"There are a lot of people on (Mount Hood) classified as working poor," market coordinator Steve Carlson noted. "They have jobs, but it's really not sufficient income. This is a way to assist them."

Starting on Sept. 24, group volunteers will host a free food market in the parking lot behind the Hoodland Senior Center, 65000 Highway 26, Welches, from 9-10 a.m. the last Monday of the month.

The program is a partnership between Neighborhood Missions and the Oregon Food Bank.

Historically, Neighborhood Missions has compiled and given out food boxes to residents from Government Camp to Alder Creek as needed. They will continue to do so, Carlson said, but added "the advantage over waiting for requests is people who really don't want to ask can come."

Sometimes it's hard to ask for help, so Carlson and his crew aim to make getting assistance easier for residents of the mountain communities.

All the volunteers need to know to let you browse the market is a Zip code and how many people are in your household.

"The hope is we'll be able to address more people in need of food than in the past," Carlson noted.

People who attend the market are asked to bring bags if possible. Those interested in volunteering can contact the Neighborhood Missions at 503-622-9213.

Donations of produce and canned and packaged items are always welcome.

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