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Charities Box Up Holiday Dinners For The Working Poor, Struggling Families

Brian Bull

Nearly 1 in 8 Oregonians struggle with hunger, according to relief group, Feeding America.  This morning in Springfield, volunteers and a giant turkey did what they could to help families in need have a holiday meal. 

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Despite the rain, people showed to distribute food to people who are scraping by.

Cars lined up at St. Alice’s Catholic Church, as workers handed out boxes of food. 

"Front seat, back seat, ma’am?" asks a volunteer. 

“Back seat,” responds a woman driving a small SUV.

The event is organized every year by St. Vincent de Paul. One of the regular staffers is Betty Snowden….

“Gobble gobble gobble!”

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
St. Vincent staffer Betty Snowden in her distinctive Santa-Turkey costume.

Yes, that was her, gobbling.  Wearing a turkey costume with long feathers and a big fan tail, she says they’ll hand out over 3,000 boxes this year…she expects the need to increase for some time.

“Some of the folks that you see getting the baskets are people that work jobs, but because of the rent it’s hard to keep up and afford food," says Snowden.  "The wages are not keeping up with our - as they say – “prosperous” economy.”

Feeding America says 28 percent of Oregon homes receiving SNAP benefits include children.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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