News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Food Bank needs community's help

The Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank helps hundreds of people each month to keep food on the table. Faced with rising costs and continuous demand, the Food Bank is short of the cash it needs to purchase the food that many people in Sisters rely upon.

Doug Wills, who, along with Jeff Taylor, manages the Food Bank, told The Nugget last week that Kiwanis spends $130,000 on food, and has taken in $95,000 in donations. The shortfall is significant, because 80 percent of the food provided at the facility is purchased.

NeighborImpact provides food, and the Food Bank receives donations of canned food and staples from the community, but those kinds of donations don't provide either enough food or the variety of types of food that are required to meet the need and to create a consistent menu of available foodstuffs.

"There are certain items that we have to have," Wills said.

The program cannot operate on in-kind donations alone.

"There's just not enough," Taylor said. "Not enough comes in to make that happen."

Wills and Taylor note that many of the Food Bank's clients are working but still struggle to make the paycheck stretch across housing, transportation, and food.

"A big chunk of the people coming in are the working poor," Taylor said.

Most are on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program benefits, but need more than that program can provide. The Food Bank is designed to fill that gap. It's not a grocery store, but they can provide a reasonable amount of additional food.

"We're not their primary - we're a fill-in," Taylor said.

That fill-in is critical to those who need it - some of whom are families with children.

Wills noted that there are also many clients - about a third of the total - who are older citizens of the community who have to stretch their Social Security check.

The Food Bank is operated entirely by volunteers, and 100 percent of donations go toward food purchase.

Contributions to the Food Bank may be made through the website at (click the "Donate!" link), and checks may be sent to Sisters Kiwanis Foundation at P.O. Box 1296, Sisters, OR 97759. Put "Food Bank" on the memo line of the check. Sisters Kiwanis Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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