For a number of years, my sons had a canned food drive for their birthdays instead of presents. After the party, we would bike on down to the Oregon Food Bank. The staff at The Oregon Food Bank did a great job of making my sons feel good about their actions. I have always appreciated the work done here.
On August 2, 2012, I biked my way down to The Oregon Food Bank again, but this time it was for something different.
I spoke with Dean Alby regarding his vision to combine cargo bike delivery and emergency food boxes. I met Dean while organizing checkpoints for the Disaster Relief Trials. The Oregon Food Bank became Checkpoint CHUCKWAGON.
The Oregon Food Bank was a valued partner in our 2012 Disaster Relief Trials. I look forward to more partnerships with this great organization, and one is underway–Delivery of emergency food boxes by cargo bike.
In essence, an Emergency Food Box is a 3-5 day supply of food. The food comes in a variety of forms given the season, donations, and even what is grown in the area. An emergency box has fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, grains, and a variety of canned goods. The combined box will weigh between 75 and 100 pounds, easy cargo for a cargo bike.
The Oregon Food Bank collects and organizes the food, and partners with agencies around the city who disperse the emergency food boxes. Dean is looking for a way to combine the volunteering stride of cargo bike users with the delivery need of emergency food boxes.
Dean states that there is a decline in the number of volunteers connected to these agencies and many of the remaining volunteers are older, many not able to drive. This brings with it the need for a new wave of volunteers to add to the previous group. In this way, service will not be interrupted.
Transport of emergency food boxes is typically for individuals and families that do not have their own way to get to the agencies. Many of these people are homebound, are temporarily at a motel, or lack the funding to use public transportation. In addition, for some individuals the only thing between continuing a lifestyle of independence or having to go to an assisted living situation is access to food.
Last month, we shared a bit of this idea in order to gauge interest for a volunteer delivery group. Thanks to all who responded. We will get information to you as it develops. This project with be months in the making as we want it to work so please know we appreciate your patience (and your volunteering spirit).
If you want to get on the volunteer list, send us an Email