The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, March 19, 2009, Page Page 10, Image 10

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    Page 10
The INDEPENDENT, March 19, 2009
Join Vernonia Cares for a look at a typical day at the food bank
provided by Vernonia Cares
Due to current economic
conditions, many people may
find they need a little help with
their grocery budget. Because
first-time visitors to Vernonia
Cares Food Bank (VCFB) may
not be sure what to expect, this
article describes a typical visit.
After entering the front doors
of the building, clients register
with Tina at the reception desk.
Registration includes basic in-
formation about the client’s
household such as names,
ages, and date of birth for each
person living at their address.
New clients will be asked to
show ID verifying they live at
the address given. A driver’s li-
cense, rent or utility receipt, or
just a letter that came to the
person at the stated address is
sufficient. As Tina gathers this
information, she prints the com-
pleted form and the client signs
the application. The target pop-
ulation for VCFB is households
that fall within the USDA in-
come guidelines. Those guide-
lines are currently a base
monthly income of $1,670 for
one person plus $577 per addi-
tional household member.
The registration process
usually takes less than fifteen
minutes; this application re-
mains on file for one year. All
clients’ names are kept confi-
dential. If the client returns
within the year, and no changes
have occurred within the
household, the process is even
quicker. The application is sim-
ply signed for the new month’s
groceries and the shopping be-
gins. Tina will ask a few food
questions so the frozen and re-
frigerated portion of the order
can be filled by volunteers
while the client begins shop-
A VCFB volunteer will be-
come a personal shopping as-
sistant to this new client. The
goal of VCFB is to provide
three days of groceries, given
once a month. Quantities of
food are tailored to the house-
hold size. Carts with boxes and
bags are filled with non-perish-
able groceries as the client and
volunteer stroll past the shelves
of food. This permits the client
to indicate his or her house-
hold’s food preferences.
“There’s no use giving a
family a can of pickled beets if
no one likes them!” VCFB Pres-
ident Carolyn Velasco said,
“This shopping-style pantry
helps eliminate wasted food.
We appreciate the ability to be
a user-friendly food pantry for
our clients.”
At the end of the shopping,
the client adds a few loaves of
bread to his or her order. The
sack of frozen and refrigerated
items is placed on the cart. If
the client is able, he or she is
asked to help defray the cost of
the bread delivery by adding to
a donation box located at the
registration table. (Bread is do-
nated to VCFB from Safeway in
Forest Grove. The funds help
pay for the cost of transporta-
tion to Vernonia.) The cart is
then wheeled to the client’s car,
the food is unloaded and the
cart is returned into the build-
ing. Bread is available once a
week; pantry orders are avail-
able once a month. A typical or-
der for a household size of four
is pictured with this article.
In February 2009, statistics
Please see page 18
Win cash for best student photo
Vernonia Cares volunteers,
Tina Brewington, Penny
Dean, Barbara Rainbolt, and
Dave Howard shown with a
3-day food supply. Photo
courtesy of Vernona Cares.
As part of National Public
Health Week (April 6-12),
Northwest Health Foundation
and the Oregon State Public
Health Division are sponsoring
a photo contest for Oregon stu-
dents aged 13-18. Cash prizes
are provided by the Northwest
Health Foundation.
Students are asked to use
digital cameras to capture im-
ages of what they believe
makes a healthy community.
They should submit their origi-
nal photos, by March 31, to the
Community Health Priorities
website: www.communityheal
Health Priorities is a statewide
initiative of the Northwest
Health Foundation aimed at
creating environments where
everyone can be healthy
through community dialogue
and public policy.
Winning photos will be ex-
hibited on the Community
Health Priorities website and
during Public Health Week in
Portland at the Portland State
Office Building, 800 NE Oregon
St. in Portland, and at the State
Capitol in Salem.
The following prizes will be
awarded: 1st Prize $250; 2nd
Prize $100 and 3rd Prize $50.
Students are encouraged to
consider any of the following
themes in submitting their en-
Creative: How can you get
people to understand that
health can be looked at in so
many different ways? See if
you can find creative ways to
portray healthy (or unhealthy)
Ironic: The world around us
is full of contradictions or
ironies. In public health this can
take many forms. Can you cap-
ture this?
Persuasive: Can you take a
picture that might persuade
someone to change an un-
healthy behavior? Or take on a
certain healthy behavior or ac-
More details, including rules
and submission information,
may be found on the Communi-
ty Health Priorities website.
The mission of the North-
west Health Foundation is to
advance, support and promote
the health of communities in
Oregon and southwest Wash-
More information at www. or contact Chris
Palmedo at mcpalmedo@