The Brookings Harbor Food Bank’s “Independence from Hunger” fundraiser partnering with the local Grocery Outlet has brought in $11,514.

“The food drive is a corporate-wide promotion that initiated with the marketing team,” Lori Panter said.

Panter is co-owner of the Brookings Grocery Outlet with her husband Hal.

“The fundraising drive brings attention to the food bank in the summer when food banks run low on food,” Lori said. “We’ve been doing this fundraising drive for about eight years.”

To spur the success of the drive, Lori and her husband offer incentives to donate for customers. Customers who donated $5 or more received a $5 coupon for use the following week in the store. The store also offered the traditional round-up option for customers not making a larger donation.

“Between those two incentives is the way they raised more than $11,000 this year,” Lori said.

The Panters also offer incentives to inspire employees to actively promote the drive. Cashiers compete for having the most donations at their registers. The incentives offered to employees are paid time off and other cash prizes.

This year the top winners for getting donations were: First Place,  Lisa Wyland; Second Place, Marsha Stem and Third Place, Noemy Alfaro. Wyland and Alfaro also were top winners last year.

The monies from the fundraiser that recently wrapped up will help the food bank provide food to its clients every day, Brookings Harbor Food Bank Executive Director Pamela Winebarger said.

“One of our biggest challenges at the food bank is having plenty of food on our shelves to give to people in need,” she said.  

By the numbers

According to Winebarger, in 2018, the Brookings Harbor Food Bank served 4,291 families will food boxes, and served 11,253 clients with a daily counter service.

The food bank’s snack pack program provided over 8,000 children under 18 with a snack pack in 2018, and served over 30,000 men, women and children.

“In 2019, we helped over 2,300 families receive monthly food boxes; 5,957 clients receive our daily counter service; and over 5,000 children receive snack packs, and we are only halfway through the year,” she said.

Another partner in the community, Wendy Capitano, recently held a fundraiser at Khun Thai restaurant in support of the food bank. The total raised was $500. In April, Capitano also held the ‘Coastal Music Awards’ and raised over $4,300 for the food bank.

“The food bank would not operate without all our generous donors in this community,” Winebarger said. “Another challenge we have is storage for our purchased and donated food. We recently had a generous donor donate money to fund part of our ‘Storage Project.’ This donor paid for a concrete pad to support a storage container.”

Winebarger said the food bank submitted a grant to ORCCA South Coast Food Share in Coos Bay to help purchase the storage container and to build shelves, insulate and add electric to store food inside. The food bank is also looking for a pallet jack.

The Brookings Harbor Food Bank is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

How to help

If you would like to donate food, have a fundraiser or a food drive, donate fresh produce or fruit, or make a one-time donation or a monthly monetary donation, contact Winebarger Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by calling 541-469-6988, or at 539 Hemlock Street, Brookings. You can also send correspondence to P.O. Box 1415 Brookings, OR 97415.

Board changes

In other news at the food bank, Board Chair, Mary Boshart recently resigned. Boshart had been with the food bank for over 16 years. Newly elected Board Chair Jim Newman has been on the board since 2017. Board member Connie Hunter recently left the board. She had been with the board since 2017. Olivia Davis and Katrina Upton are new board members.

“They are bringing fresh and new ideas and years of experience to the board,” Winebarger said. “We thank our retiring board members for their service to our organization.”

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