by Erika Weisensee, Writing Mom
As we enter another holiday season with high unemployment rates, the need for emergency food is expected to rise. Donating to food drives and local food banks will make a big impact, and it need not cost a lot. Whether you donate a cartload of groceries or give a few cans of food here and there, you are making a difference.
According to a recent press release from the Oregon Food Bank, distribution of emergency food boxes topped 1 million between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. The Oregon Food Bank Network of 20 regional food banks and 923 partner agencies provided a record 81 million pounds of food and distributed 1,024,000 emergency food boxes – a 12 percent increase over the previous year.
More than a half-million Oregonians now live below the poverty rate, OFB reports. But, together we can help relieve that suffering. Keep your eyes and ears open for food drives in your area. If you have children, get them involved by having them help shop for, pack up and deliver the food with you. If you are hosting a holiday gathering, consider asking guests to bring items to donate.
To find a food bank near you in need of donations, visit OFB’s “Give Food”  page and enter your Zip Code. The holidays are right around the corner, and together we can make a big difference.
Erika Weisensee is a writing mom and a native Oregonian.