The AWARE Food Bank located at 152 Arthur St. in Woodburn has been in operation since the early 1970s and includes about 27 active volunteers who share their time Monday through Friday to provide a box of non-perishable healthy foods, frozen items, fresh produce and bread. On an average each volunteer will commit to 10-12 hours on a monthly basis.
Warde Hershberger is a unique volunteer for the AWARE Food Bank, as his volunteerism exceeds the normal, committing to about 75 hours a month.
He became involved with AWARE in 1999, when he would volunteer one time per week. Those hours increased as he became the primary contact for pickup and deliveries by donors after events, special food drives and fundraisers. After a few years of being a part of the operations, Warde became a member of the board of directors for the food bank.
He has seen his fair share of the need for supplemental meals for families. On an average between January and March, there are about 900 families served and about 750 families, during the summer.
There is a shortage of food donated during the summer, but during the holidays there are both monetary and product donations.
After the holidays, both types of donations decline and he searches for continued donations. The need is still there after the holidays and some food boxes contain less of the most needed products such as the non-perishable food items. Cash donations were also down in 2013 in comparison to previous years by about $5,000.
Warde is continuously giving back to his community he so dearly loves by being a Woodburn Fire District volunteer and picking up and delivering from Do It Best Company for Habitat for Humanity in Mount Angel. He is also a board member for Silverton Hospital Foundation, having been involved for about nine years, and works with fundraising opportunities.
He is also a long-time French Prairie Kiwanis charter member hes been a member for 37 years and was president of the club in the 2004-05 fiscal year. And at the annual Fourth of July Chuckwagon Breakfast, he is the first to work the pancake griddles.