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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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