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Sunshine Food Pantries Step Up for Crisis

Emergency food boxes distributed to meet demand

Michael Leighton | 3/20/2020, 11:11 a.m.
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, emergency food boxes are being distributed to individuals and families in need at the ...
Emergency food boxes are being distributed to individuals and families in need at the two food panties operated by the Sunshine Division. The food boxes are served near the entrance of each location in a manner that ensures the safety and necessary health precautions for both clients and volunteers during the Coronavirus pandemic. People in need are able to receive a free food box once per week with this current method of distribution and it will not count towards their regular visit allotment as this is a unique situation, Sunshine Division leaders said. Photo couresty Portland Police Sunshine Division

Portland’s Sunshine Division is experiencing a historically high demand in the number of individuals and families seeking help through their emergency food boxes amidst the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The need continues to grow daily, representatives for the food bank reported Friday.

In keeping with social distancing protocol, both of the Portland Police Sunshine Division food pantry locations at North Thompson Street and Southeast Stark Street are serving emergency food boxes outside their doors so that those in need do not need to come inside or be in close contact with their staff. It is an easy and safe process for anyone needing to access food.

With the reality of COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the most vulnerable among us, many are in need of hope and basic necessities such as food.

Officials said new donations are also essential for the Sunshine Division’s ability to respond.

"Sunshine needs the community's financial support," said Executive Director, Kyle Camberg. "Because of the suspension of all volunteer activity (due to the virus) and the run on grocery stores, as well as the closure of many businesses, our supply chain of food is greatly disrupted. We are facing two very unique and critical challenges. Those two realities, coupled with the record demand we are seeing, means that financial support is needed now more than ever so that we can continue to respond."

For anyone who is able to help meet this growing need by supporting Sunshine Division's crisis response efforts, please text "SUPPORTSUNSHINE" to 44-321, or make a donation online at secure.givelively.org/donate/sunshine-division-portland-police-dept.

If you or someone you know is home-bound, medically fragile, and/or unable to leave their home, due to the Coronavirus, Portland Police Precincts maintain a small supply of emergency boxes at each of their facilities that are available to be dispatched and delivered (typically within 24 hours) by an officer or Public Safety Support Specialist directly to someone's home.

Anyone unable to access Sunshine Division facilities directly can call the Portland Police non-emergency line at 503-823-3333 to request a food box delivery by an officer. Delivery arrival time is subject to call-load and time of call. You’re asked to please not call 911 for a food box.