St. Vinnie's will close Eugene food pantry to make space for the unhoused
In Eugene, St. Vincent de Paul is closing its Atkinson Food Room at the Lindholm Center on Highway 99 North, with a new plan to re-purpose the space to serve the ever-growing homeless population.
According to St. Vincent de Paul, the food pantry they operate in north Eugene has seen a steady drop in the number of families coming in for food boxes supplied by FOOD for Lane County. Meanwhile, there’s been a dramatic rise in homelessness.
Terry McDonald is longtime director of St. Vinnie’s. He said, “as we move into the winter months now, the demand for homeless services— we continue to see— escalating. Both for singles and for families.”
“So, at any given time, all of these programs have a waiting list for any shelter activities of up to 50 to 100 people,” McDonald added. “Day services are also limited because there’s only a limited space available for homeless individuals or families to come in.”
The Atkinson Food Room will close on December 31, when the space will be re-purposed for production and delivery of prepared meals and expanded daytime respite for the unhoused.
Over the past year, St. Vincent de Paul has served more than 300,000 meals through a variety of day and night shelter programs serving the community. These include the Eugene Service Station; the Night Shelter Annex, serving families experiencing homelessness; the Dawn to Dawn congregate overnight tent shelter for individual adults; the SVdP-managed 410 Garfield Safe Sleep site; and Egan Warming Centers, which give the unsheltered a safe indoor place to sleep and warm meals during periods of life-threatening cold.