Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Seed Donation Will Nourish Local Residents in Need

Linn Benton Food Share (LBFS) – a Community Services Consortium program – is the recipient of a very kindly offer from FOOD for Lane County to share in a generous BiMart donation of vegetable seeds. LBFS accepted seven pallets of seeds, valued at $25,000, and immediately started distributing them for the upcoming summer growing season.

BiMart’s donation of seeds will help LBFS increase the amount of healthy, locally grown produce available to those in need through their 74 local partner agencies that include emergency food pantries and shelters, soup kitchens, child and senior care centers, residential care homes, and gleaning groups.

Seed packets have gone out across Food Share’s two-county area. As temperatures start to rise this spring, tender little veggie starts will be making an appearance in gardens aimed at helping people in need access fresh produce. 

Cindy Rice, manager of the Sweet Home Emergency Ministries food pantry in Linn County, took some of the seeds and began distributing them to clients accessing emergency food boxes.  She reports that many clients are excited to grow vegetables at home, and are planning to contribute excess produce back to the pantry.

Also receiving seeds were members of LBFS’s 14 gleaning groups, which serve more than 7,000 low income people in Linn and Benton counties. Many of these low-income gleaners are seniors with gardening experience, as well as families eager to learn how to grow food for their children. Access to free seeds is a real benefit for them.

In addition to individuals who received seeds, LBFS offered seed packets to several local programs. The CSC Youth Garden, for example, will grow some of the seeds in their garden at the corner of 2nd and Western in Corvallis, as well as the plot donated to the Youth Garden by Trillium Children’s Farm Home on Trillium’s acreage in Corvallis.  A portion of what these young people learn to grow is given to partner gleaning groups.

LBFS Director Mike Gibson notes that Food Share has made it a priority to increase the amount of fresh produce for emergency food boxes. With an increase of 28% this year, a total of over one million pounds of produce will be distributed. Gibson also reports that the overall need for emergency food in Linn and Benton counties is at its highest point ever, with LBFS distributing 5.5 million pounds of food in FY 2013-14 compared to 5.15 million pounds last year.

“Linn Benton Food Share is thankful for the generous donation from Bi-Mart,“ Mike stated. “These seeds will provide produce for people who are at risk of going hungry. We always feel good when we can increase the nutritional content of the food we distribute—and in this case, the people planting the seeds have a new way to provide for their families.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

22nd Annual Letter Carriers' Food Drive Benefits Linn Benton Food Share

Linn Benton Food Share had a great turnout for the 22nd annual Letter Carriers' Food Drive on May 10th, with several volunteers coming out to sort more than 45,000 pounds of generous donations gathered by letter carriers in Albany, Corvallis and Lebanon. The nationwide food drive is the country's largest one-day food collection event.

The food will go a long way in meeting demand for food in Linn and Benton counties, which hit a high of 5.5 million pounds for fiscal year 2013-2014, an increase from 5.15 million pounds the previous year.

Thank you to United States Postal Service Letter Carriers for gathering the food and all of our volunteers for coming out to lend a hand!

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

  1. The blog itself, which can be linked to our current website
  2. Email news blasts (blog articles sent via email as eNewsletters)
  3. RSS Feed (subscribers read in Google Reader or other feed reader, can also send posts to Facebook and Twitter)
We're excited about these communication tools and look forward to both your input and feedback for continuing improvement and positive information-sharing.

If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.