The fall community food drive for the FISH Food Pantry will be held Saturday at four Roseburg grocery stores, including Sherm’s Thunderbird Market, Fred Meyer, Safeway, and Albertsons. Volunteers will be collecting donated food at these stores from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

FISH Food Pantry Board Chair Nis Jessen said the drive is a big part of their yearly efforts to stock the pantry.

“We do it about three times a year and we also do the Roseburg Food Project and this is an important part of the total package,” Jessen said.

Volunteers will be at the stores and hand out a slip with a list of the items that are most needed and hopefully donate a few items when they come out of the store.

A variety of donated food items are needed to enhance the options of those using the FISH Food Pantry. Pantry officials are looking for baby food, boxed cereal, canned fruit, canned soup, and canned tuna and meat. Donations of canned vegetables, flour and baking mix, peanut butter, condiments are also needed. Cash donations to The FISH of Roseburg will also be accepted.

Jessen said they also need toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, and other hygiene items. The need, he said, is especially high among the homeless in Douglas County.

“Thirty percent of the people that come through are homeless, so we actually have packs that we give them,” Jessen said. “That’s where most of those necessities come in handy.”

Requests for emergency food assistance from low-income families in Douglas County also remain high. The FISH Food Pantry provides emergency food parcels to over 900 households each month, which includes over 3,000 people. About 30% are children, Jessen said. The typical household seeking emergency food assistance from the FISH Food Pantry will visit the pantry three or four times during a year.

Food donations from the community are vital for the FISH Food Pantry’s effort to reduce hunger in Douglas County, Jessen said.

“This is one of the most basic needs of people and if they can help in any way we sure appreciate it,” Jessen said. “We appreciate all the support we get and this is an easy way to help, they can just pick it up as they’re doing their other shopping.”

The FISH Food Pantry is located at 405 NE Jerrys Drive in Roseburg across from Costco. For information call 541-672-5242.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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