PORTALND -- Oregon’s busiest "single site" food pantry is expanding. Portland Adventist Community Services announced plans Monday to help more people, in new areas, with a mobile food pantry. PACS Executive Director Paul Cole said "we’re pretty excited about this." It will be the first of its kind in the country.
The goal - take the food where it’s needed most. A PACS volunteer, who lives outside of Portland, proposed the plan. Cole said " she knew of a lot of people out there in need." He said another volunteer has donated his time and labor to transform a snowmobile trailer into the mobile food pantry.
Oregon Food Bank provides much of the food for agencies like PACS. Jean Kempe-Ware, a spokesperson for OFB, explained "it's going to go into remote areas, areas that are under-served or don't even have a pantry."
PASC has seen a spike in the amount of families needing emergency food boxes. Cole says, on average, PACS provides the equivalent of 6,000 meals a month. He says in December and January it provided 7,000 meals. Kempe-Ware says the demand for emergency food boxes is growing statewide due to a struggling economy and rising food and gas prices. She says Oregon’s rural communities, which often have few food pantries, are hit hardest. She’s grateful for the ingenuity at PACS. "The mobile food pantry will really help to take the food where it’s needed most."
PACS plans to make its first delivery April 12th.