'There's a lot of love coming our way, to keep up with the demand'
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Giving Plate in southeast Bend is staying true to their name.
The organization is teaming up with members of the community to ensure nobody goes without a meal this holiday season.
For the past two weeks, cars have been lined up around The Giving Plate's building to pick up donated meals.
Executive Director Ranae Staley calls it more than just a food donation.
"I'm calling it 'food love,'" Staley said Thursday. "We are sharing a lot of food love, because there's a lot of love coming our way, to help keep up with the demand."
Staley said this time of year is always their busiest, but the pandemic, coupled with economic hardship, has made 2020 historically demanding.
“We’ve had almost a 40% increase this year, compared to last year, for the number of families we’re serving," Staley said.
And Staley said this is by no means is a one-man operation.
They've teamed up with Albertson's, Bend's Rotary Club, New Hope Church, and the Axis Church to make these meals a possibility for families.
Moms like Cierra Oliver of Bend say she feels like she can rely on the community during these difficult times.
"It’s nice to be able to rely on everyone around town," Oliver said. "It’s hard these days, with everything that’s going on.”
The mother of two said it's all about staying afloat this year, and every little bit helps.
The gift of giving won't stop their for Staley and her team.
Next month, they'll be holding their annual 'Jingle Store' event, where children can pick out gifts for family and friends.
Cierra Oliver said she'll be there as well.
“I’m actually signing the little one up for the Jingle Store now," Oliver said. "We’re super-excited to come back for the Christmas season.”