The History of the Helping Hands
Food Salvage Program
Columbia Grange #267 started the community food salvage program in the 1990s, inspired by (former) Grange Master Albert Kimbley, along with several Grange members. The program began by offering food donations from grocery stores, such as bread, milk, and some excess food staples for senior citizens on limited incomes. In time, Grange volunteers developed a more extensive food salvage program, reaching out to more food venues for donations, and providing food for the larger community. The Grange also began a free Monday Senior Lunch program for senior citizens in the community, providing an opportunity for socializing and a healthy meal.
After Al Kimbley’s death in 2006, community member Arnold Dufresne stepped up to develop the program further. In 2008, community member Michelle Abramson helped establish the Grange’s food salvage program as its own nonprofit. As a 501(c) 3, the program was renamed The Columbia Gorge Helping Hands Food Salvage Program. It was established as its own nonprofit to increase food donations from grocery stores, as well as local farmers, food distributors, and NGOs like the Oregon Food Bank.
Over the years, hundreds of local residents have volunteered at Helping Hands to expand the program, as well as helping to maintain the old Grange Hall with much needed improvements and upgrades. With their help and dedication to the community, the Grange Hall will continue to serve the community for another hundred years.
In honor of Al Kimbley’s years of dedication to the Columbia Grange, as well as establishing its food salvage program, the Columbia Grange offers an educational scholarship in his name; The Albert Kimbley/Grange Memorial Scholarship. The Grange membership established this educational scholarship in 2006, and it is awarded annually to local students through the Corbett Education Foundation.
Helping Hands continues to offer free senior lunches on Mondays from 11am to 12:30. It’s also an opportunity for seniors to shop for quality produce and food staples for a minimum donation. Helping Hands’ services are available for all who live east of the Sandy River in Multnomah County. Shopping days for the community are Monday and Thursday, operating on the lower level of the Grange Hall.
Helping Hands Food Salvage Shopping Days:
Monday, 2:00-6:00pm and Thursday 2:00-6:00pm
Senior Lunch Monday 11:00-1:00pm
For more information, contact Helping Hands at 503-695-6674 or learn more at: http://corbettoregon.com/columbia-grange-267/helping-hands-food-salvage-program/