October 14, 2021 Newsletter

Happy Thursday!!!

Lots of great things going on and I thought I’d share some of them with you.

You’ll notice when you come to the distribution site that we have a new metal building going up. Benton Community Foundation gave us a grant to purchase the building so we could expand the space in which we are doing distribution. It gives us more floor space to merchandise our fresh fruits and veggies, and creates additional safe space for those people who require social distancing. This 20’ by 24’ structure is a welcome replacement for the Costco tent we’ve been using, and will help us continue to expand our operations to better serve our growing community.

In other news, some of you may have noticed that the demonstration farm has new residents, about 1,000 of them in fact. The Alsea Valley Gleaners is partnering with Green Oaks Farm. This arrangement is a fund-raising opportunity, as the farm will donate a portion of the proceeds to support our operations. It will also help us completely utilize the waste stream of food which is no longer fit for human consumption, when our other waste farmers cannot take all which is available. This is further an opportunity for our members who need to complete volunteer hours, but their schedules do not allow for them to do so during our regular hours of operation. If you are interested in learning how you can support this fundraising effort, while learning about the operation of small-scale commercial egg production, reach out to us by way of the contact information listed at the bottom of the newsletter.

It is worth mentioning that the dump trailer we were granted funds for by Oregon Community Foundation has been getting a lot of use. In addition to the myriad of wood gleans we’ve gone on, it is used several times a month to do pickups at Linn Benton Food Share, Food for Lane County, and the Salem food share. Having it available for these pickups is critical, and has been very helpful in keeping our facility stocked with literal tons of food. The dump trailer has also been used for fundraising by renting it for brief periods of time to members who are in good standing. By the way, we recently picked up 16 pallets of chips and popcorn. We also have pallets of peanuts that we picked up. If there’s something in particular you are looking for, ask Karl, our distribution manager, and we’ll see if we can help you find it.

A quick bit of housekeeping: In any organization, it can be expected that there will be conflict. That’s normal, and we’ve developed a way to address it. First, have a conversation with the person. 9 times out of 10, that quickly clears up what is almost always a misunderstanding. If it’s not a person, but a procedure which is misunderstood, speak with a more senior member. There’s always someone who knows what’s going on. If this doesn’t work, we have grievance forms you are welcome to fill out. These are reviewed by the board in the event they can’t immediately be addressed. They are located in the files next to the sign-in sheets. Fill it out and drop it in the box where you deposit your shared maintenance contributions. Finally understand that we are an all-volunteer organization. None of us is paid a single penny for the countless hours that are put in. With that in mind, try to treat everyone with respect and dignity. We are in this together, working together to help ensure that everybody eats.

Respectfully,
John Winterbourne
Secretary

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