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Volunteers provide food, security to farmworkers

Posted by | Catholic Charities of Oregon

In partnership with the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC), Catholic Charities staff and volunteers took time to care for those who have always cared for us.

Many hands make light work!

And at Catholic Charities, we are blessed to have more than 2,000 volunteers who partner with us across all of our agency’s programs. Their volunteerism allows us to deliver our services across the region, ensuring that we’re reaching communities far and wide in our efforts to serve the most vulnerable.

This week, a team of volunteers led by our Director of Strategic Initiatives, Kat Kelley, packed 200 boxes of healthy food and dairy products to deliver to farmworker housing communities in Woodburn. We partnered with Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC), a Marion County based agency whose farmworker clients have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, we know that farmworkers in Oregon play a major role in ensuring that our local grocery stores are well-stocked with healthy produce for our families to enjoy. Yet, in the last few months, the pandemic has placed extraordinary burdens on the many low-wage workers who play an often overlooked yet central role in our lives. They cannot shelter at home to guard themselves against COVID-19; instead, they go to work each and every day to ensure that our food supply is maintained, despite their own food insecurity.

Our volunteers went door to door across four farmworker housing communities to ensure that every family was provided with a box containing fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grains, and meat!

When 14-year-old Liam Hawblitzel was asked why he offered to volunteer his time alongside his mother, he shared: “I feel that so many people are struggling right now, and I wanted to offer them some hope and support. It’s not much, but if more people volunteer, our community will be so much stronger and able to get through these difficult times together.”

We feel the same way, Liam—thank you for your service! And to ALL our volunteers, you rock!

Feel inspired? We’re looking for volunteers to continue to support this work throughout the Summer! Sign up here.