Understanding Sunshine Division’s Relationship with First Responders

Kyle Camberg

PPB Operator: “Non-emergency. How can I help you?”

Caller:             “Yes, can I get a food box?”

In 2014, the Portland Police Bureau answered hundreds of calls that started this way.  What would you do if it was a Sunday night and you had no food to feed your family, transportation or money?

Sadly, thousands of Portlanders regularly face this reality.

But Portland is a unique place.  We’re not just “weird” we’re resourceful.  Where else in theIMG_4665 country would a police officer respond to a call for food assistance by bringing a food box to your door?  The answer: nowhere.

The Sunshine Division is more than a food bank or a food pantry with limited hours and one location.  We provide emergency food boxes to all of the Portland police precincts, ready for officers responding to calls for help.  These food boxes offer immediate food relief to families until they can access additional services and they also offer homebound seniors and disabled individuals with food assistance impossible for them to access on their own.

Sunshine Division’s unique partnership with first-responders allows us to feed those in crisis when other social service agencies are closed.  Our partners at the Portland Police Bureau help us identify the need for urgent help, referring nearly 1,000 households to Sunshine Division’s doors for ongoing food and clothing assistance and home delivering over 26,000 pounds of food a year.  Over 165,000 individuals were somehow helped through Sunshine Division’s diverse food and clothing programs last year.  This year, through improved partnerships and programs, we expect those numbers to increase.

You don’t have to be a first-responder to help, to get involved, go to: http://www.sunshinedivision.org/donate/

 

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