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Harvest Market supports Basket of Joy food and toy drive

Saturday marks the end of the regular 2014 season of the Beaverton Farmers Market, but it also opens the Basket of Joy food and toy drive for the Tualatin Valley Gleaners, which partners with the Oregon Food Bank.

Held in conjunction with the Beaverton Cares Team, this program benefits the children and families of Washington County who are in need of assistance, especially during the holiday season.

The Tualatin Valley Gleaners’ goal this year is to help 500 families with toys and holiday meals. There are many ways the community can help.

The Beaverton Farmers Market will be kicking off the Basket of Joy program at the its annual Harvest Market on Saturday.

Market shoppers picking up the fixings for their Thanksgiving celebrations are invited to stop by and visit the Gleaner’s booth to make a donation.

People can contribute cash donations, sponsor a food box for a family of four for $20, sponsor toys for two children for $30, sponsor food and toys for a family of four for $50, or make a fresh food donation by purchasing items at the market and dropping it off at the booth.

All fresh food donations will be distributed on Saturday.

The Gleaners will also accept all donations of toys, food, gift cards, personal hygiene items and diapers, as well as new clothes such as coats, undergarments and socks.

If you can’t make this market, the Gleaners will be collecting items for the Basket of Joy program at the Beaverton Tree Lighting on Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.

“Years ago I started collecting perishable foods for the hungry in Washington County because my kids and I were hungry,” said Tualatin Valley Gleaners Founder Heather Thompson. “We needed fresh foods and warm clothing and thought, why not help everyone in our situation? That is how Tualatin Valley Gleaners started. Now, we help more than 500 families in Washington County.”

The Beaverton Farmers Market opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the parking lot across Hall Boulevard from the Beaverton City LIbrary. It is open until 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit beavertonfarmersmarket.com.

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