BANDON - It’s easy to help neighbors during the holidays thanks to Ray’s Food Place and Shop Smart stores that encourage customers to “Stuff the Truck.” The effort offers customers the opportunity to purchase $25 worth of food for $20. All food is donated to a local food bank with some 38 food banks participating in Oregon and California.
“Our goal is to gather 10,000 bags of food before Christmas,” said Karl Wissmann, president and chief executive officer of C&K Market, Inc., which operates the stores. “Customers tell us how much they appreciate this event every year. It makes it easy for them, and they feel good about the fact that donated food items are based on what food banks need."
Since the effort launched in November, customers have donated approximately 3,983 bags with a total value of $79,440. Each store tracks how many bags customers buy.
“Some customers asked for an online way to give,” Wissmann said. “So, this week we launched one https://stuffthetruck.gives/. It’s exciting to add a new dimension to the program and continue our tradition of being responsive to customer requests.”
Last year, 7,531 bags helped Stuff the Truck.
Ray’s Oregon stores are in Bandon, Canyonville, Central Point, Drain, Eagle Point, Gold Beach, Gold Hill, Jacksonville, LaPine, Merlin, Myrtle Creek, Oakridge, Phoenix, Port Orford, Prineville, Rogue River, Roseburg, Selma, Sisters, Sutherlin, Talent, Veneta, Waldport and Yachats, with a Shop Smart location in Cave Junction.
Ray’s California stores are in Arcata, Cloverdale, Etna, Fall River Mills, Ft. Jones, Fortuna, Garberville, Lakeport, Mt. Shasta, Redway, Weed and Willow Creek.
Locally, Ray’s Food Place has donated 35 grocery bags full of 800 pounds of holiday staples to the Bear Food Cupboard.
The Bear Cupboard, which is located at Jefferson School in Coquille, serves almost 50 families per week from Coquille, Bandon, Coos Bay, Myrtle Point and Powers.
They also provide clothes and the coats, sleeping bags, blankets and tents, which Bandon supports every year during the coat drive.