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Food For Lane County raises funds to build capacity

Rachael McDonald

Food For Lane County is in the final push of a $9.5 million capital campaign. They’re seeking to renovate their aging warehouse in west Eugene so they can increase capacity for food and volunteers.

The non-profit has already raised $9 million. Executive Director Tom Mulhern said that’s thanks to the support of the community. He said in the early days of the pandemic, demand for food assistance increased drastically. It leveled off thanks to government assistance programs. But he expects the need to rise again.

“We feel like we need to be ready for an increase in demand because we know from experience that the economic impact of an emergency or a downturn like this, it hurts people at the lower end of the pay scale more and it hurts them longer,” Mulhern said.

The fundraiser will help them replace an old freezer and build a cold room for food preparation. Mulhern said with more capacity, they can accept more perishable food, like produce, and be able to provide more healthy options.

“The Willamette Valley produces a lot of really good food,” he said. “And so sometimes we’re faced with, you know, can we take a whole truckload of pears or whatever it might be. And so having this additional cold storage is really going to enhance our ability to say yes and take that food and then get it out to the pantries.”

Mulhern said they hope to raise the remaining $500,000 and start renovating their warehouse on Bailey Hill Road in January.

More info at: supportFFLC.org

Copyright 2021 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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