CRESWELL, Ore. — A Lane County food bank is expanding to meet the needs of the community better.
The Creswell Food Pantry has been operating out of a 600-square-foot space at the VFW. Now it has a new place to call home in the Cobalt Building, which is 2,200 square feet.
Pantry volunteers say the extra space will make a world of difference and allow them to store more food safely and increase their efficiency by upgrading equipment and supplies.
In the smaller building, people couldn’t move around easily and had to wait outside to go in and get their stuff. They also now have an indoor sink and restroom.
About 29 percent of the community qualifies for food assistance, and there are about 160 families shopping through the pantry a month. The pantry provides a once-a-month food box to income eligible families. They can get fresh produce and bread weekly.
“It has been very helpful, especially for a stubborn single mother that doesn’t want to get welfare or food stamps. I guess this helps a lot because you can come and the food is here and it helps my kids a lot,” said food pantry customer Ana Alonzo.
On Friday, the National Food Stamp Program will be affected by cuts. Roughly 800,000 Oregonians will see their food stamp amount decrease. The Creswell pantry says that means an increase in need is inevitable.
The Creswell pantry says it hopes to work with Food For Lane County and the Oregon Food Bank if the need increases a lot. One idea on the table is possibly allowing people to shop more often, but those discussions are still to be had.