Your Food Oasis pantry seeks new home
A popular food pantry is seeking a new home in Hillsboro.
Your Food Oasis was based at Hope Vineyard Church, 5968 S.E. Alexander St., but needs a new location in order to continue to assist the thousands it feeds each month, organizers said.
Founded by Hillsboro resident Brother Thomas DiNovo, the food distribution center operates a little different than most pantries. DiNovo said the pantry receives donated food from grocery stores and bakeries across the local area — food that would otherwise be thrown away.
It started years ago as just an idea of DiNovo's — who once worked as a manager of a grocery store and witnessed the amount of food that goes to waste — and has since flourished into a service that serves more than 9,000 people around the state each month.
"It's like everything I've done in my life has led me up to train for this particular thing," DiNovo said. "And I have been using everything I learned to keep it going."
DiNovo began asking different stores and bakeries in the area if they would be willing to donate any extra food that would go to waste, and with several jumping on board, he began serving the food to those in need from ice chests in a mobile trailer.
He and other local volunteers set up anywhere they could as people in the community would come pick up enough food for their families or themselves, and then start all over again the next day.
Having more and more volunteers over the years, as well as a proper facility at the church for the past year, helped the service spread to eight other cities across the state including Cornelius, Vancouver, Wilsonville, Pendleton, and areas of the coast, DiNovo said.
Volunteer drivers pick up food seven days a week from the more than 10 food providers across Hillsboro and then assist in handing out the food until it's gone.
"This is not a one person thing," DiNovo said. "No one person could do this. ... I believe in giving credit where credit is due."
Hope Vineyard Church is growing though, and the church needs the space back, DiNovo said. The food distribution center vacated the space on Sept. 15, but with such high demand for the food, the center is in dire need of a new home.
For more information on Your Food Oasis or suggestions on a new space, contact DiNovo at 503-443-0348.
By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
Subscribe to our E-News and get the week's top stories in your inbox