Close to 100 people lined up before opening at the Nov. 5 Fill Your Pantry Market, hosted by the Rockford Grange.
 
Folks were there with bags, boxes and large coolers to get their hands on a wide variety of local produce and other hand-made products, in one handy location. Organizers said the fifth annual Fill Your Pantry was a big success.
 
“It’s a chance to support local food producers and the community really comes out to support it, and we appreciate it, as organizers and also as farmers,” said Bonnie Cox of Oak Rose Farms, which she owns with her husband, Matt.
 
“It’s a nice opportunity for when the fall harvest comes in to get it in the hands of people before the holidays happen, it a nice time for people to stock up,” Matt said.
 
 Gorge Grown Food Network and OSU Extension Service co-sponsored the event.
 
More than 22 farms and food businesses were present, offering produce, meats, grains, preserves, fermented products, and more.
 
Demonstrations on food storage and food preservation were provided, and Hood River County Emergency Services offered tips on emergency preparedness.
 
Fill Your Pantry was just one example of events and programs celebrating and providing local abundance.
 
See details below.
 
And even more local abundance ... and ways to help
 
The Hood River Christmas Project is a free program providing assistance with food and children’s gifts for families in need during the Christmas holiday and benefits Hood River County families that currently meet State of Oregon low income eligibility standards.

Here are details, along with other programs and services in the coming weeks:
 
Christmas Project
 Family size is based on the adults/children currently living in the home. See page A5 for details.
 
The next dates to register for Hood River County Christmas Project are Nov. 20, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cascade Locks City Hall (FISH Food Bank) and Nov. 15 at Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), 1610 Ninth Court on the Heights off of Pacific Avenue, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Project barrels are out in the community now, for donations of non-perishable food and toys.
 
To contribute to the Hood River County Christmas Project, send checks to P.O. Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031; with credit cards, visit the website donation page at www.hoodrivercountychristmasproject.com.
 
All donations are tax-deductible, as The Christmas Project is a 501c3 organization.
 
Consult the web site for details about volunteering, or sponsoring a family in need.
 
Dinner and Bazaar
St. Mary’s Catholic Church Altar Society hosts the annual Ham Dinner and Bazaar on Sunday, Nov. 17. Dinner, which includes homemade pie for dessert, is from 3-6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for children under 12.
 
The bazaar runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features a bake sale, “country store,” silent auction, can raffle and “big” raffle that includes a Kindle Fire, dinner at the Hood River Inn and $200 of Rosauers scrip.
 
You do not need to be present to win. The church is located at 1501 Belmont.
 
Community Thanksgiving dinner
This year, the free Thanksgiving Community Dinner will take place on Thursday, Nov. 28 from noon to 3 p.m. at Riverside Community Church and from noon to 2 p.m. at the Marina Pavilion in Cascade Locks. 
 
Those who are unable to come can have meals delivered by requesting them at least four days in advance.
 
For delivery, contact Bonnie New at bnew1@live.com. To be part of the volunteer team, contact Chenoweth at Chenoweth.d@gmail.com or 541-399-2384.
 
Food Banks
Here are the hours and locations for FISH food banks in Hood River County:
  • Hood River: Monday 3:30-5 p.m., Wednesday 3:30-5:30 p.m., Friday 3:30-5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon, at 1130 Tucker Road.
  • Parkdale: Monday 4-6 p.m. at Parkdale Community Church, 4910 Baseline Drive.
  • Cascade Locks: Fourth Wednesday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and the following Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cascade Locks City Hall.
Indoor Farmers’ Market
Gorge Grown Food Network moves its Saturday farmers’ market inside on the first and third Saturdays of the month, December through April, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at May Street Elementary, 1001 10th St. The first of the indoor markets is Dec. 7.

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