Food is a major Thanksgiving highlight, but between supply chain issues for donors and the pandemic, Shepherd’s House Ministries is struggling to stock-up for the holiday.
“We are asking for traditional Thanksgiving food donations,” Ryan Olufson, Shepherd’s House associate director of development and volunteers said. “So turkeys, stuffing, cranberry, just the traditional items.”
The bulk of the Bend non-profit’s pantry is filled with canned goods that are intended for everyday use.
Shepherd’s House is looking to add to its small holiday supply.
“We have a little bit of a shortage, but we know our community rallies,” Olufson said. “We rely on the help from our Central Oregon neighbors to make this happen, so we are in need.”
Donations tend to come from local grocery stores and the public, but Olufson said it’s been a lighter year.
However, Safeway/Albertsons, Newport Avenue Market, and Food4Less told Central Oregon Daily News that national supply chain issues will not impact their donations this Thanksgiving.
“We know supply chains are tough, we know a lot of stores are limited in what they can donate,” Olufson said. “We also know our community it’s still experiencing challenges right now.”
The non-profit plans on serving 150 people on Thanksgiving and wants to make sure there is enough food to go around, plus leftovers.
“We want people to feel welcomed, we want them to feel connected to others,” Olufson said. “Food is a great way to do that.”
Olufson said hospitality is everything at Shepherd’s House, and donations are an important piece of the pie.
“The food that we receive, donation-wise, we always want to be able to provide that to people in need,” Olufson said. “But this meal is special, it’s inviting people to actually have a seat, relax, stay warm, and enjoy a home cooked meal with others.”
You can donate food at the Division Street location of Shepherd’s House in Bend.
Olufson said they are also looking for prep and serving volunteers the week of Thanksgiving.