(Newport Avenue Market presents check to Family Kitchen of Bend | Photo courtesy of Newport Avenue Market)
Newport Avenue Market customers, team members and suppliers have raised $45,031.50 to help alleviate hunger in Bend. The money raised, as a result of Newport’s Food for February fundraiser, will be used to purchase groceries at cost for Family Kitchen of Bend. The funds are expected to provide enough meals for Family Kitchen for one year.
Newport Avenue Market shoppers donated throughout December and the employee-owned market matched the funds donated dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000. The program maximizes donation dollars, with Newport Avenue Market working closely with the wholesaler, SuperValu, to use the funds to order thousands of pounds of fresh food from Family Kitchen’s wish list.
Additionally, this year shoppers at Oliver Lemon’s in Sisters also donated $8,454 to the Food for February program, which Oliver Lemon’s matched for a total of $13,454. The funds will stay in the Sisters community to support the Kiwanis Food Bank.
February is one of the most challenging months for hungry families in Central Oregon. Money is tight after the holidays, donations dwindle, and food pantries are depleted. Since 2011, Food for February has raised nearly $270,000 for hungry families in Central Oregon, including $129,000 in matching funds from Newport Avenue Market. “Thanks to shopper generosity, we are able to provide Family Kitchen with enough meals for an entire year,” said Lauren Johnson, CEO of Newport Avenue Market.
“I love working with the staff at Newport Market, placing our orders for our daily meals. They truly care about our diners and about making all of our interactions as smooth as possible,” said Jan Hedges, kitchen coordinator at Family Kitchen.
“To have a local, employee-owned market involve not only their staff but also their shoppers in this effort to bring quality ingredients to our diner population — it’s just beautiful. Every year I get that same feeling all over again. And every week when that delivery appears, and the diners come out to help unload — it’s such a fantastic picture of an entire community in action for the benefit of all,” said Donna Burklo, program director of Family Kitchen.