Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


How to feed kids at 13 schools

One good deed turns into a life of giving for Mike and Janet Huber


by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Have van will travel is the byword for Mike and Janet Huber of Lake Oswego with their food delivery program for school kids called Take Action INC.

Three years ago, Mike and Janet Huber of Lake Oswego did a very good deed. They delivered a load of food to a school.

Instead of patting themselves on the back and proceeding with their Christmas shopping, the couple realized that there was so much more that needed to be done. And they decided to do it themselves.

“The first delivery was great,” Mike Huber said. “But we asked ourselves, ‘Now what? We can’t walk away from these hungry kids.’ ”

The result has been Take Action INC (In the Name of Christ), and the Hubers now deliver loads of food to 13 schools throughout the Portland metropolitan area and “two more schools are in our very near future.” Many children from the ages of kindergarten through the eighth grade depend on them. They do it with the idea that a hungry student not only needs food for one day, but the next day, the day after that and every other day.

“We learned that kids who were passing us by on the street could be going without food,” Janet Huber said. “Now we’re feeding 350 kids each week.”

That is a lot of food for a husband-and-wife team to deliver, and the Hubers have discovered they are great organizers when it comes to getting food to children. They also have an excellent reputation for using every donation of money or food to deliver food straight to the children.

“The main thing is we’ve set up a process,” Mike Huber said. “We organize the program, and we deliver the food ourselves. We decided to get volunteers from each school, and now we’re able to get a lot more done. We have a volunteer at each school.

“We try to get a four- to six-week supply of food at each school, so every hungry kid can fill up a backpack with food each Friday.”

Even more remarkable, the Hubers customize each backpack for the needs of a particular student.

“We give a lot of peel-and-eat food,” Mike Huber said. “There are kids who have no parents to cook for them. Counselors are incredibly valuable at helping us on this.”

Usually, kids get enough to eat during the weekdays because of free- and reduced-price breakfast and lunch programs. But on weekends some children go hungry, and that is what the Hubers want to prevent.

“In Portland there are areas of severe poverty where kids go weekends with literally no food,” Janet Huber said. “Kids will hoard food on a Friday. They’ll stuff tater tots into their pockets.”

“Kids really hate breaks in the school year,” Mike Huber said. “That means they won’t be getting any food.”

If you think being the friends of hungry youngsters at 13 schools takes a lot of time, you are right. Take Action INC started in a very roundabout way when the Hubers were just beginning their retirement years. As Mike Huber said, “It landed right in our laps.”

“Pastor Carren Woods (of Rivergate Community Church) was holding a food drive for Sitton Elementary” in Portland, Mike Huber said. “We couldn’t do just one load.”

“Many principals told us how desperately they needed food,” Janet Huber said.

Soon, Take Action INC was up and running. The Hubers were loading up their van and filling it with food every week, and they kept it filled by establishing relationships with businesses and organizations that could give them literally thousands of donated food items.

In a way, Mike and Janet Huber resemble Johnny Appleseed. They plant a seed of food giving at one school, and that allows another organization to eventually take over the project. Then the Hubers move on, feeding more and more hungry children, planting more seeds.

In return, the Hubers have been blessed themselves by the huge number of new friends who have helped make their organization such a success. Their help has come from some very unlikely sources.

One time, 90-year-old Chuck Bushey swam for an hour to raise bucks for Take Action INC.

“I didn’t realize there were so many good people out there,” Mike Huber said.

This already ultra-busy couple is set to get busier than ever because of the holiday season. The holidays mean food, but that could well mean hunger for a child.

“The holidays ramp up our organization,” Janet Huber said. “It means we need to take care of kids for a couple weeks. The schools don’t have any food during the holidays.”

The Hubers were not counting on working so hard during their retirement years, which suits this pair of dedicated Christians just fine.

“Who wants to be retired?” Janet Huber asked with a laugh.

“We can’t change the world,” Mike Huber said. “But we’re a world of change for the kids we serve.”

To find out more about Take Action INC, go to the website takeactioninc.org.



Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

62°F

Lake Oswego

Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 84%

Wind: 0 mph

  • 21 Sep 2014

    Sunny 89°F 58°F

  • 22 Sep 2014

    Partly Cloudy 79°F 59°F