FISH food banks are well-stocked with volunteers

Volunteers are the heart of the FISH food bank in its four locations in Hood River County.

FISH took delivery last week of the Hood River Valley High School holiday canned food drive, which can provide up to 20 percent of the food banks’ annual food needs.

Volunteer coordinator Billie Stevens said, “People are just wonderful. I have worked with volunteers all my life and ours are the cream of the crop.”

Food donations are accepted at all four locations (details below) and monetary donations for operations, or for the capital campaign, can be mailed to FISH treasurer Becky Bugge, 3481 Ehrck Hill Road, Hood River, OR 97031.

n The Hood River site, on June Street one block east of 12th Street on the Heights, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 to 11 a.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon

n Parkdale: Monday 4-6 p.m., in Community Church

n Odell: Thursday 4-6 p.m., St. Francis House, Odell Highway and Davis Road.

n Cascade Locks: Fourth Wednesday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m., in the Cascade Locks City Hall gymnasium .

To volunteer at any food bank, call 541-386-3474.

Open on Dec. 26: Hood River and Cascade Locks food banks. Hood River will be open on Dec. 31, and Parkdale will be closed.

What’s most needed: items including tuna, soups and stews, dry pastas and beans, cereal, macaroni and cheese, and vegetable oil.

Meanwhile, the FISH capital campaign (for a new facility in Hood River) is ongoing. A suggested Christmas present is a donation to FISH in the name of a family member or friend.

Go to the FISH website, and click on the Alternative Gift icon at the top of the home page, to print out a gift form.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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