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The nonprofit organization in town could be a useful resource for struggling residents

COURTESY PHOTO - Wilsonville Community Sharing prepares bags of food for curbside pick up.

With economic forecasts in freefall and the unemployment rate rising due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the population of financially burdened Wilsonville residents could also spike.

But, along with governmental programs and stimulus packages, a Wilsonville nonprofit and social services agency can help people through tough times.

Wilsonville Community Sharing provides free food through its food bank and utility and prescription assistance and connects people to other helpful resources.

Some precautions the center takes to avoid spreading the coronavirus include preparing food boxes in advance and allowing people to pick up food outside the facility. Meals are available 12:30-2:30 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays. The center also implements recommended sanitary precautions and conducts other assistance via phone or email instead of in person. Available selections include fresh produce, canned food, cereal and frozen meals. All Wilsonville residents can receive one food box per month. The boxes have about 3-5 days worth of food.

"Yesterday, we received a large donation of eggs. Every week is different depending on our supply but it's a relatively decent amount of food," food bank coordinator Leigh Crosby said. "We have a lot of clients with dietary needs, vegetarian, gluten free, and we try to best accommodate everybody's food choices."

Crosby said the facility has not seen an influx of residents requesting services but expects needs to accelerate in the coming weeks.

"We're not anticipating an upswing in clientele until maybe next week or the first week of April," Crosby said. "Most people have still gotten a paycheck and after next week they may not have gotten a paycheck and may realize they need to reach out for some help."

Noticing that some people ask for utility payment assistance months after they're overdue, Crosby recommends people do so immediately after they're unable to pay utilities. However, people have to be under a certain income threshold to receive utility assistance.

"It (services) depends on an individual basis based on what they're going through," said Lani Snyder, the facility's information and referral specialist. "Sometimes we can refer people to appropriate rental resources, aid with prescriptions, we have aided with some car repairs. It depends on clients needs and what other agency we partner with to deal with needs."

The center receives funding from a variety of sources including the city of Wilsonville, grants and donations from individuals, churches and businesses.

"I think it's important to maybe donate to us because we network with other agencies and when we do that we stretch the donation," Snyder said. "It allows us to do more versus a donation going to several different places, there might be a duplication of service."

For information about the services Wilsonville Community Sharing provides or how to donate, visit http://wilsonvillecommunitysharing.org.


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