Advocates say summer is a time when food anxiety is particularly high for struggling families. And the pandemic has only made matters worse. Now, some rural food programs are getting an unexpected boost to provide supplemental meals throughout the season.
A surprise donation from the Lane Community Health Council has enabled United Way to distribute $66,000 in grants of $5,000 each. The funds go to local organizations that can quickly and effectively provide access to food.
Orchid Health in Oakridge is a recipient. Clinic Manager Sarah Scott said up to 60% of clients are on Medicaid. She’s relieved for this opportunity to distribute food because hunger is unhealthy.
“One of the things that is very important for people is not only to have healthy food access,” she said, “but the stress of not knowing where the next meal is coming from can also have a huge health impact.”
Scott said within the next 2 weeks, they will begin distributing bagged meals through a drive-up option at the clinic. The supplemental food program is expected to last through August.
Find announcements on the Orchid Health Clinic Summer Food program including opening dates and times for meal distribution: