BEND, OR -- Bend’s largest homeless shelter has issued an urgent plea for food donations.
Chris Clouart, with the Bethlehem Inn, says they are in desperate need of basic lunch items with a longer shelf-life. "We’re looking for lunch meat, we’re looking for sliced cheeses, we’re looking for tuna, we’re looking for salad dressing, instant potatoes, coffee and creamer. Coffee is an incredible amount for us; we make something like a couple of hundred cups per day of coffee. Things like cream soups, broth for chicken or beef, egg noodles, canned fruit, individual fruit cups, if that’s possible, lunch snacks." He tells KBND News, "Every single day we make roughly 50-60 lunches that are available for our residents to use to take to jobs or take when they leave the facility. So, having to build those lunches requires all the blocks that go into building a lunch. So, those are the kinds of things that we need, desperately. In a non-food-related way, we also need things like sleeping bags, right now." Clouart says there are many who are not able to stay at a shelter, and the give sleeping bags to anyone who needs to camp outside.
This time of year, the homeless shelter finds it difficult to keep the pantry stocked. "We are getting donations. But, the kinds of things we normally see come in on a large basis at Thanksgiving time, when a lot of people are stocking up on lots of different kinds of foods, that’s when we see a lot of that stuff," says Clouart. "The middle of summer, not so much."
Donations can be made at the Bethlehem Inn on North Highway 97 in Bend, just south of DMV.