Since early March, Sunshine Division has experienced 4X the amount of need every week as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis.
Due to this high increase in the community's need for free food, Sunshine Division is expanding their operations to greatly increase their "no contact" home delivery network. This emergency food delivery program is in conjunction with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), a unique partner of Sunshine Division for nearly 100 years.
In the next ten weeks, PPB officers will work with Sunshine Division and H2C Productions to home deliver 200 food boxes to families and individuals within Portland and Gresham five days a week, for a total of 1,000 home deliveries every week. This means an average of 27,000 weekly meals!
This has been a major coordinated effort between Sunshine Division, PPB, H2C Productions, Safeway Albertson's Foundation, Fred Meyer Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation, and Sunshine Division donors to get this emergency food delivery program fully operational.
Officer Matt Tobey, Bureau Liaison between PPB and Sunshine Division, shares, "There are so many people shut-in, even more than before (the crisis), but especially those within our vulnerable populations who simply can't get out that it's been a big change for us. The Bureau is working on ways for how we can assist Sunshine Division even further and this emergency food delivery program will really help to meet the increased need." He offers a word of hope despite our circumstances by sharing, "I can assure you that when we give someone a box of food, I see a lot of hope and I'm completely hopeful for the future. We will get through this together -- the Police Bureau, Sunshine Division, and our community members. It will bind us together even better and when we come out on the backend, we will be even stronger."
Executive Director of Sunshine Division, Kyle Camberg, says, "We've received an unprecedented amount of calls from people who are afraid. People who have recently been laid off, including many other scenarios related to the crisis. There is a whole new demographic of people who just weeks ago couldn't fathom needing to ask for help, which has made it abundantly clear why we need to respond and offer help in this manner. At the heart of it, these vulnerable people are saying, 'I'm desperate. Can you help me?' It is gratifying and humbling to know that because of this unique program and our coalition of partners, including H2C Productions, Safeway Albertson's Foundation, Fred Meyer Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation, Sunshine Division donors, and the long-standing partnership between us and the PPB, we are able to offer hope during this fragile situation."
Sunshine Division is the bridge between hunger and hope and will continue to serve anyone who is in need of food in the weeks ahead.
Sunshine Division's two locations remain open for families and individuals to come and pick up an emergency food box. For more information regarding their hours and locations, visit their website: https://sunshinedivision.org/
If you or someone you know is homebound, medically fragile, and/or unable to leave their home, due to the Coronavirus, you can visit https://sunshine-division.cyrkusevents.com or directly call +1 (503) 609-0285 to request a food box delivered by an officer and H2C Productions. Delivery arrival time (Monday through Friday) is subject to call-load and time of call.
ABOUT SUNSHINE DIVISION
Sunshine Division has existed for nearly 100 years to offer emergency food during times of crisis, like what we are facing now. They are a nonprofit emergency food and clothing relief organization in unique partnership with the Portland Police Bureau. They operate year-round to provide temporary relief, not only to Portland individuals and families who lack essential food and clothing, but also to more than 70 food-relief agencies in five counties. Thanks to generous donations of food and finances from both individuals and corporations, the 97-year-old charity receives, manages, and distributes food to nearly 67,000 households every year. Through their two food pantries, two school-based programs that provide free food for children experiencing homelessness, and with the assistance of Portland Police Officers who distribute emergency food boxes year-round and participate in the Izzy's Kid's "Shop with a Cop" program that supports nearly 500 low income children throughout the year, they served over 200,000 families and individuals last year.
Source: Sunshine Division