The Food Project was started in a small Southern Oregon town called Ashland in January 2009 by a group of residents who wanted make it easy for people to donate food to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. They realized that many of their neighbors wanted to help fight hunger in their community, but for one reason or another, never get around to it. So they created a simple, door-to-door food collection system to enable them to pitch in.
They had three goals:
- To provide a regular supply of food to our hungry neighbors
- To create new neighborhood connections and strengthen our community
- To serve as a model for other communities
Armed with brochures that proclaimed, “You want to help, We want to make it easy!,” Ashland Food Project volunteers canvassed their own neighborhoods, knocking on doors and inviting their neighbors to participate. Whenever people said “Yes,” volunteers suggested that they buy just one extra nonperishable food item each week, and store it at home. the volunteers promised to stop by their homes every 2 months, pick the food up, and take it directly to the food bank.
The project started with a core group of 10 volunteers picking up food. About a year later, there were over 150 in 3 different towns. The first Pickup Day, in 2009, netted about 600 pounds of food. By December, 2011, they were picking up more than 55,000 lbs. county-wide, every two months.
There are more than 20 Food Projects across the nation, with more ready to get started. We’re honored that you'd consider becoming a part of this program, sharing food with neighbors and building a stronger community.
It’s our hope that as a volunteer with the Palm Beach County Food Project, you'll have fun, grow, get to know people, and feel generally good about yourself and your town.