Clark Neighbors Food Project helps fill pantry shelves, even more so during pandemic

“As a neighborhood leader who has been involved with this challenge due to the fact it was only in its plan stage, it has been inspiring to enjoy the advancement and blooming of a motivation to aid out other neighbors,” said Cherryl Burkey, community coordinator and chair of the Truman Neighborhood Affiliation. “I have viewed this sustainable food stuff project spread from one particular neighbor to a further, from just one neighborhood to one more, from a person city to an additional throughout Clark County. It even spread in my possess family members, with my grandson and son aiding my spouse and me. We are a 3-generational family members volunteer group.”

“The Green Bag neighborhood food assortment has turn into a useful piece of our neighborhood expertise,” said Kate Griffith, community coordinator for the Sherwood Community. “It’s enabled us to test on a number of elderly neighbors who don’t get a lot of visitors, has mobilized individuals to join the community association, and (has) normally facilitated communication and awareness among the neighbors.”

When Debbie Nelson and her husband, Greg, commenced the Clark County Food Job in 2017, they experienced 4 volunteers. Now, the software has expanded throughout Clark County, with additional than 100 community coordinators who oversee a lot more than 2,000 food items donors.

Community coordinators try out to keep donated foods within their neighborhood if probable. In 2017, the system distributed meals primarily to FISH Vancouver and two university loved ones resource facilities. Now, it distributes meals to some 15 sites throughout the county.

The system did not stall for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a substitute, it doubled in size.

“During the pandemic, folks realized there was a big have to have, and they understood they preferred to aid,” Nelson claimed. “In 2020, we gathered about 60,000 pounds of foods that 12 months. In 2021, it was near to 120,000.”