Corrections & Clarifications: A prior version of this article incorrectly identified the number of Food For Lane County pantries there are in the county. There are 31.
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County will end food box distribution from its Atkinson Food Room at the Lindholm Service Center, 456 Hwy. 99N in Eugene, at the end of December. Mcb Box
In a news release, the organization said this will allow it to better serve the local unsheltered population. The nonprofit will repurpose the food room to allow for increased production, cold storage and delivery of prepared meals to serve the growing numbers of local people experiencing homelessness. The space will also be used to expand seating for people who get daytime respite at the nearby Eugene Service Station.
"Ultimately, SVdP determined that this pivot in operations would best allocate resources toward making the greatest impact in serving the greater good," the release stated.
The Atkinson Food Room is currently one of 31 FOOD for Lane County pantries. Supply-chain disruptions and systemic changes to the larger emergency food network have forced the food room to only have enough supply to allow for food-box distribution two days a week.
With many other food-pantry services across Lane County, some of which are within a 2-mile radius of the Atkinson Food Room, St. Vincent de Paul determined that redirecting pantry supplies to those locations could serve people just as effectively, according to their news release.
St. Vincent de Paul is Eugene’s largest nonprofit human service provider with programs for affordable housing, emergency services, homelessness services and self-sufficiency services. In the past year, the agency has served more than 300,000 meals through programs at the Eugene Service Station, the Annex Night Shelter for families, the Dawn to Dawn congregate overnight tent shelter, and the Safe Sleep site at 410 Garfield St., as well as the area's only emergency warming centers.
As the Dec. 31 closure approaches, St. Vincent de Paul will make resources available to help guide community members to other food pantries near them with the help of the area food bank, FOOD for Lane County.
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