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Food pantry is a community effort

While shopping in Willamette last week, I stopped by the Willamette United Methodist Church on Willamette Falls Drive at a little after 3 p.m. to see what the new food pantry is all about. I was welcomed just inside the front door by two volunteer greeters.

I was immediately amazed at the several long tables almost filling the large room, each laden with bread, cereal and many other kinds of food. By chance, Shauna Shroyer, one of the primary organizers of the food pantry (and representing the city of West Linn), arrived on the scene at just that moment. She invited me on a tour of the entire facility, including the several separate individual pantries set up in other adjacent rooms where people can choose the food they need and where a variety of food is stored on metal shelves.

Nearby there was a large space where I saw a collection of grocery bags full of food which have been given for the pantry, and these were in the process of being shelved by another volunteer. Shauna told me they have been receiving generous contributions of delicious and nutritious food on a regular basis from both Market of Choice and Safeway.

Funds contributed to the program are used to purchase meat, eggs and other fresh essentials needed to help round out a balanced diet for the families using this facility.

I am impressed! It is a wonderful thing to have this food pantry in our town. Can you imagine what it means to young parents who do not have enough income to buy the groceries necessary to feed their hungry kids?

Do you know how much it helps elders whose cupboards at home begin to get bare about the third week of the month, long before their next Social Security check arrives?

The food pantry is open on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. for folks to come and get food. I was told that volunteers will deliver to those who are housebound and cannot come to pick up their own food.

Thank you, Shauna, and all of the volunteers who have worked so diligently to get this program set up and operating. This is a good place and something for which West Linn can be justly proud.

Stop by and see them. I am sure they would welcome additional food, cash contributions and the help of more volunteers.

Gerda Gustafsson Edwards is a resident of West Linn.