Food collection for charity drive changes hands; applications available

Volunteers distribute food during an open house during the 2019 Help Them To Hope Charity Drive. 

ONTARIO

Having located a building which they can lease for their warehouse to carry out their food and toy distribution this year, the Help Them To Hope Committee can now focus its full attention to collection and getting applications out.

Rich Contreras, president of the annual holiday charity drive, announced Tuesday during the committee’s meeting, that a warehouse in Payette has been offered and has enough space for its needs.

Food drive

Coming up in a few weeks is the Community Food Drive, formerly the Boy Scout Food Drive. With lower numbers of scouts to carry out the annual drive because of COVID-19, it will instead be carried out this year by volunteers of “Just Serve,” an organization which recruits and coordinates volunteers efforts where they are needed.

There will be central collection points established in the Payette, Fruitland and Ontario areas, and residents will still be able to have donated food picked up at their door-steps as in the past by Just Serve volunteers. While those donations will go to Help Them To Hope, food donations in other local communities, such as Nyssa and Vale, will stay with their local food pantries.

Door hangers and bags will be distributed door-to-door the week before the drive.

Applications

Applications for prospective food and/or toy recipients are available at WICAP locations in Payette and Weiser, the Oregon Department of Human Services in Ontario and local food pantries. People approved for food and/or toy boxes are being reminded that they will need to have someone at their physical address to receive the boxes on the day of delivery, which will be Dec. 17. If they are not home to receive boxes, those goods will be held no longer than the following day, at which time they would be donated to someone else, according to Delilah Canas, secretary for Help Them To Hope.

Due to the pandemic, the Ontario branch of the Oregon Food Bank will not be able to take in the undelivered boxes and hold them for recipients this year because of the pandemic.

Another food drive that will be limited this year will be inside the schools, which in recent years have competed to collect the most food. However, with Oregon schools not meeting in person or not attending full-time, those schools may not be able to amount a collection. Idaho schools are meeting in person.

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