If your income has been affected by the “stay home” orders currently in place and you are struggling to find money to buy groceries, there is help available. Food pantries and meal sites are still operating in many locations across Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties. You also may be eligible for the Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon and the Oregon Food Bank have put together a comprehensive resource for finding food assistance. Many local organizations are brainstorming ways to get community members food while keeping them safe and healthy. For example, some groups are looking at providing food boxes to community members when they are picking up school meals or how to coordinate home-delivered food boxes.
“Even though this is a difficult time for our community, people are working hard to get food to those who need it,” says Athena Nofziger, registered dietitian, Samaritan Hematology and Oncology. “Please seek out resources. No one should be without food.”
Food pantries & meal sites
Please call the facility first to check availability, hours and days of service. Special procedures may be in place to make sure food sanitation and social distancing practices are observed.
Food pantries may have to-go food boxes available, often on a weekly schedule. Meal sites are serving prepared meals to go. For a full list of services in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties, visit the following sites for more information:
The local senior centers are closed to dining-in but are still providing delivered meals to the community. Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments has information regarding the local Meals on Wheels program.
Free lunch for students
While school is closed, free bagged lunch will be available to any child younger than 18. No application or proof of income is required. Children do not have to be enrolled to receive a meal. Meals do not need to be consumed onsite. Check local information for times and locations in the following school districts: Central Linn, Corvallis, Greater Albany Public Schools, Jefferson, Lebanon Community Schools, Lincoln County School District, Monroe, Philomath and Scio.
For those who are concerned about going to the grocery store, try ordering groceries online from your local store for pickup or delivery. The online grocery programs will accept SNAP EBT cards. Keep in mind that it may take several days to get your delivery so make sure to plan ahead. Substitutions will be made for items that are not available. Some stores are also offering special morning hours for high-risk community members to do their shopping. Call your local store for more details or check online.