Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current, February 01, 2008, Page 16, Image 16

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

voice community
Vernonia Cares Food Bank In Operation:
Mackenzie Carr
Crowned Rodeo Queen Pre & Post December Flood
Vernonia resident Mackenzie Carr was crowned as
the 2008 Columbia County Rodeo Queen at a corona-
tion ceremony held on January 5th at the County Fair
Grounds. Ms. Carr is the daughter of Alan and Barb
Carr of Vernonia. She is a graduating senior and Vale-
dictorian of Vernonia High School and was selected
as the 2007 Homecoming Queen. She is a member
of the varsity volleyball and track teams and a past
member of the Oregon High School Equestrian Team,
for which she earned three varsity letters. Mackenzie
is also a member of The National Honor Society and
Who’s Who Among High School Students. Macken-
zie served as a Princess on the 2007 Columbia County
Fair and Rodeo Court. Her rodeo partners are Charlie,
a 17-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, and Pedro, a 15-
year-old Paint gelding.
Joining Mackenzie on this years court are Prin-
cess Molly McCarter and Princess Katie VanWinkle.
Ms. McCarter is a junior at Scappoose High School.
Ms. VanWinkle is a junior at St. Helens High School.
left to right:
By Sandy Welch
Vernonia Cares Food Bank, located at 627 Adams
Avenue in Vernonia, has been in operation since 1985
assisting families within the Vernonia area with emer-
gency groceries. Before the flood of December 2007,
“Cares” (as it is known by many) provided three days’
worth of groceries to low income clients on a monthly
basis. The December flood waters entered the building,
flooding its offices and main pantry with four-plus feet
of contaminated, muddy flood water. The water also en-
tered the food storage trailer, inundating it with three
feet of water. The entire operation (pantry, freezers
and refrigerators, office, and food storage) of Vernonia
Cares was wiped out in one event.
Many volunteers came together to muck out, rinse,
and disinfect all areas. Within five days after the flood,
the food bank was back in operation! Through the gener-
osity of literally hundreds of donors, food, freezers and
computers were supplied. Because the need of the Ver-
nonia area was so immediate and great (over 400 homes
flooded and over 200 condemned), the usual eight hour
per week schedule was extended in December to ten hour
daily operation. Free groceries are given to any Vernonia
area household who experienced the flood waters in their
home, to those housing flood survivors, and to former
Cares clients. Most days in December saw over fifty
families a day utilizing the resources of the food bank.
Cares also gave out more than 200 Christmas holiday
grocery boxes on December 21. The same day, Cares
had ninety-seven families utilize the food bank before
Cares staff took a few days off for Christmas.
The food bank staff knew it was vitally important
to make food available as quickly as possible and on an
ongoing basis, because as people rebuild their homes,
offices and lives, the need will continue. As of January
2008, the food bank hours are Tuesday (10:00 am to 2:00
pm) and Thursday (10:00 am to 7:00 pm). There are no
income-based restrictions to receive food at this time and
food will be dispensed every three to four days, since
many people have a food storage problem (a number of
families are living in trailers until their houses are ren-
ovated). Food is given to anyone within the Vernonia
area (Vernonia, Mist, and Birkenfeld) who needs this as-
sistance. Former Cares clients who live in Timber and
Buxton may continue to receive groceries as well.
As Cares moves forward, so do the needs. Per-
ishable groceries are the most quickly depleted (milk,
cheese, meat, produce, eggs, butter or margarine, yogurt,
cooking oil). Laundry soap, fabric softener, and clean-
ing detergents fly off the shelf nearly as fast as they are
donated or purchased. Funds given will also help restore
refrigeration and office equipment, software, and office
paper products. Cares is thankful to the Vernonia Ameri-
can Legion Post 119 which is allowing Vernonia Cares
to operate from the main room. (This room is about ten
times larger than the former pantry.)
Since Vernonia Cares Food Bank is a non-profit
(EIN #93-0901900), all donations are tax deductible.
Financial donations may be mailed to Vernonia Cares
at PO Box 126, Vernonia, OR 97064. Receipts will be
issued upon request.
Columbia Community
Mental Health
Due to flooding we have moved to a
temporary office location:
Vernonia Community Learning Center
939 Bridge Street
Vernonia, OR 97064