Hanzo Helps The Oregon Food Bank

| February 25 2020

I love my job! Why, because Hanzo puts the value of doing right by people at the forefront of who we are. To the team at Hanzo, this means, we are respectful, empathetic, and caring about delivering a good experience to customers, employees and the community at large through programs like Hanzo Helps.

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Team Hanzo Helps at the Oregon Food Bank

Recently, the team based in Portland, Oregon had the opportunity to spend time helping at the Oregon Food Bank.  Let’s take a look at the important work they do. 

 

Who is the Oregon Food Bank and What do they do?

The Oregon Food Bank started off in 1988 when the Interagency Food Bank and Oregon Food Share merged. Back then, they distributed USDA Commodity Supplemental Food to over 200 hunger-relief agencies. Today, the Oregon Food Bank collects food from farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals and government sources. They distribute that food through a Statewide Network of 21 Regional Food Banks and approximately 1,200 food assistance sites serving all of Oregon and Clark County, Washington. But that is not all they do.

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"To eliminate hunger and its root causes…because no one should be hungry."

— Mission of the Oregon Food Bank

They work on their mission of eliminating hunger in Oregon with the three-pronged approach because they believe they must also address the root causes of hunger through public policy, nutrition and garden education, and public awareness. The Oregon Food Bank fundamentally believes everyone deserves healthy fresh food and so they focus on freshness—distributing around 15 million pounds of produce each year. They champion self-reliance providing nutrition and garden education programs as well as community organizing activities to improve the health of communities. They also advocate for change by urging lawmakers to support public policies that address the root causes of hunger.

 

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Fresh produce abounds at the center

There are many ways to help the Oregon Food Bank work towards achieving its mission to eliminate hunger and its root causes. You can donate, volunteer or advocate

 

Team Hanzo Helps gathered to volunteer our time

 

While there are many ways to serve a cause, Hanzo has put specific emphasis on encouraging volunteering time and helping in person. We believe volunteering is very impactful for all involved. When you volunteer your time you are putting your actions toward making a better world for others and that sticks with you. 

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Repacking frozen meat and packaged meals at the Oregon Food Bank

There is something very meaningful and educational about becoming familiar with the challenges and becoming part of the solution. It helps you notice the challenges in your community that are easy to overlook and it empowers you to share the cause with others so more people are aware and interested in helping. 

Our day included volunteering at the Portland repacking facility helping to inspect, sort and repack all things refrigerated or frozen! From fresh fruits and veggies, to yogurt, meat, sandwiches and other nutritious foods, it was impressive the quality of food available and the quantity that we sorted and packed.  

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Inspecting fresh food for freshness

Oh... another fabulous aspect is that the Oregon Food Bank is so organized. They made the experience so clear in what was needed and how we could make a difference. Finally, I’d like to share the nerdy side of volunteering — the stats. While you know in your heart you are doing good for others by sharing your time, it tells a really compelling picture of the power of time and teamwork.  In just one afternoon, we were able to pack 10,469 lbs of food, which translates into 8,724 meals or 545 meals per volunteer. I am often proud of what our teamwork generates, but I have to say that this really put a smile on my face for a well spent day. 





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