FISH Food Bank overflows -- for now

Food, as well as the volunteers to unload it, arrived in force Thursday at FISH Food Bank.

Nearly 4,000 pounds of food — from frozen meat and vegetables to fruit juice — came in a truck from Oregon Food Bank.

The event was the monthly delivery of foodstuffs to the food bank, located in the Heights on Pine Street. Volunteers spent Thursday stockpiling and sorting the food in preparation for Friday’s 4 p.m. distribution to needy residents of Hood River County.

About 15 volunteers, including a group of Hood River Valley High School students, unloaded the truck and stacked the food on counters, on the floor, and wherever they could find a space in the food bank’s cramped quarters.

The food bank waiting room, about the size of a doctor’s waiting room, is typically packed with about 40 people on food distribution days. Thursday’s delivery was one week earlier than usual and, despite the plenty, the food is likely to go fast, FISH workers said.

Helping out on Thursday introduced some young people to the FISH Food Bank.

“I’d never been in here. I just knew there was food here,” senior Noel Thomas said. “I didn’t know it was so small.”

Thomas remembered that his class won the food drive contest a year ago at Hood River Valley High School, and said that it was good to know where it went.

The students also went to Rosauers Market, where they loaded about 100 bags of food and brought them back to FISH. In an on-going program, patrons buy pre-packaged $5 and $10 bags of canned goods, pasta and other meal elements that are given out at FISH. The bags more than filled a small pick-up; the students carried bags on their laps en route back to the food bank.

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FISH Food Bank is open 4-5 p.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for distribution of emergency food boxes. Call 386-3474 for information on the service.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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