Estacada Area Food Bank is ready to serve

It's clear the holiday season has arrived when you take a look inside the Estacada Area Food Bank. More than a dozen volunteers hustle around the small building on Broadway Street, trying to quickly organize food before more donations arrive.

This is commonly the busiest time of year for the food bank as it tries to accommodate the seasonal increase of individuals and families in need of support.

“It does pick up around here during the holiday season,” 15-year volunteer Harold Wick said.

But the holidays are not the only reason Estacada's food bank is feeding more people this time of year.

After several years of economic recession, more and more people are in need of help. Wick says there was a noticeable escalation in the amount of people coming into the food bank last year, and he estimates that number has increased 30 percent this year.

“We're getting new families coming in all the time and we're serving more people,” Wick said.

Fortunately for the food bank, it also receives more donations during the holiday season than at any other time of the year.

Numerous places around Estacada conduct food drives this time of year and almost all bring their donations to the food bank.

Wick said that the Estacada schools' food drives always result in a generous amount of donated items, as well as local businesses.

Recently, the food bank received a large donation that will allow it to hand out a chicken to everyone who comes through the door. It's also expecting Thriftway Market to bring in a lot of food.

“We're really fortunate that we get really good support from the community,” Wick said. “We're serving more people so we needed more support.”

While the food bank is financially stable today, it did need help when it started to see a rise in people looking for assistance. So the food bank sent a letter to all of its regular contributors asking for more financial aid.

“They stepped up to the plate and we're getting a lot more financial support,” Wick said.

Now as the food bank prepares for the holiday turnout, it's confident that it will meet the needs of everyone looking for a meal.

But the food bank is still asking for support, as well as volunteers to help out during these busy times. Anyone interested in volunteering should visit the Estacada Area Food Bank, 272 Broadway Street, directly across from Key Bank. It's open between 10 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.

“We really rely on contributions and help from the community,” Wick said.

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