REEDSPORT — Project Blessing, a food pantry currently based at United Presbyterian Church in Reedsport has a new partner, United Community Action Network, based in Roseburg.
Jeanine Coffey is the food bank program coordinator for UCAN.
“They are the 16th pantry in Douglas County that we provide food to,” she said. “It’s a great partnership to have Project Blessing in Reedsport and have them as part of our network.”
The partnership has been official since Jan., 2013.
Coffey says UCAN will help both Project Blessing, which operates on Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. and the AARP Food Pantry, which operates on Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., from a building in Henderson Park.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to provide services to the folks in Reedsport who need emergency food,” she said. “It gives us another outlet to get food out there. It’s really great. We really appreciate them becoming part of our network.”
UCAN has been affiliated with the AARP group for 20 years.
Coffey says they also have an important partnership with another agency.
“A majority of our food does come from Oregon Food Bank,” she said. “That’s in the way of the U.S.D.A. government commodities. Then, of course, we get donated food from Oregon Food Bank. We also get donations from our local grocery stores, local food drives, individuals, organizations and we distribute that food throughout Douglas County. We also work with nine community kitchens.”
Of course, Project Blessing hopes to move to another facility and provide more services. Coffey says they want to see more services.
“If it’s at all possible, that would be wonderful,” she said. “Everybody is so strapped because of the current economy.”
She said the need in communities is still great.
“It is difficult to expand,” she said, “but we’ll do everything we can to help them be able to accomplish being open more.”
The Roseburg area currently has four emergency food box agencies. The FISH facility, which operates out of a facility near the UCAN headquarters in North Roseburg, takes care of 30 percent of all food boxes distributed in a month.
“They’re open four days a week,” Coffey said. “We have the Foundation Fellowship pantry. They’re open one day a week. The Dream Center is open two days a week. The SDA food pantry is also open one day a week.”
Coffey said people from western Douglas County may use the Roseburg facilities.
“Absolutely,” she confirmed. “The FISH pantry will take care of anyone from Douglas County.
“Nobody is going to be turned down.”
She gave high praise to the people operating and volunteering in the local area.
“We appreciate all the support that the Reedsport community has given to both of the food pantries,” Coffee said.