The call is out to fill up empty shelves for the Brookings Harbor Food Bank's annual Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive.

Filling the Shelves

Brookings Harbor Food Bank officials said donations for their annual Thanksgiving Food Basket drive are down compared to previous years. This storage container shows the lack of food collected as of Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Food Bank Executive Director Pamela Winebarger says donations are down and the need continues to rise.

Brookings Harbor Food Bank

The Brookings Harbor Food Bank is located at 539 Hemlock Street in Brookings.

Even though the Food Bank has launched its annual fall food drive for items to fill the Thanksgiving baskets, Winebarger said donations are slow to come in.

Cash donations and grants will be used to buy turkeys for the food baskets.

The following is a conversation with Brookings Harbor Food Bank Executive Director Pamela Winebarger.

The Pilot: Why do you and the participating groups put together this food drive and the Thanksgiving Baskets, and who qualifies for the baskets?

Pamela Winebarger: The reason we do the food drive and the Thanksgiving Baskets in Brookings/Harbor, no one else in the community does. We are the only ones who give food to prepare a traditional thanksgiving meal. Families in Brookings/ Harbor who are in need of a Thanksgiving basket. This dinner is not prepared, it needs to be prepared.

The Pilot: Describe what you are seeing as the true need for food in our area. Is it increasing and why?

Winebarger: The true need for food in this area is those who work and struggle to live day to day, paycheck to paycheck and have food insecurities. Most have an income and some may receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits as well. But it doesn’t give them enough food to last to the end of the month. Most families in this area live comfortable or even well off, but 25% of those here don’t. We are seeing an increase of people moving to the area needing services from our food bank.

The Pilot: Describe what the Thanksgiving Baskets contain.

Items Needed

These are an example of the food items that will be part of the individual Thanksgiving Baskets that will be given to the needy. Missing, as of Wednesday, Nov. 6, are the turkeys.

Winebarger: Each Thanksgiving basket contains Turkey, potatoes, gravy, Stuffing, Vegetables, rolls and a pie. There will be other food items that can be added to the basket at the time of pickup depending on what is donated to us.

The Pilot: When and where will the baskets be assembled and tell us about how they are distributed?

Winebarger: Clients will sign up at the food bank through 1 p.m. November 22. The baskets will be assembled on Monday, November 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Brookings Church of the Nazarene. Clients will then pick up the baskets starting at 1 p.m. on that same day at the church.

The Pilot: What food items should be donated and where, to help fill the baskets?

Winebarger: We need everything: Turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetables, rolls and a apple or pumpkin pie.

The Pilot: For those who would rather give cash, what is their option to donate?

Winebarger: Anyone wanting to donate monetarily can come by the food bank, 539 Hemlock Street, or call 541-469-6988. They can also mail a check to: Brookings Harbor Food Bank, PO Box 1415 Brookings, OR 97415.

The Pilot: What groups are participating in this year's Thanksgiving Basket effort?

Winebarger: We have the Brookings Harbor Food Bank, Brookings Church of the Nazarene, Living Waters Foursquare, Brookings Ministerial Association and the Leadership class at Brookings High school. We need donors and volunteers to come and help by donating food and to assembly baskets. Without the communities help, we couldn’t make this happen.  

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