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Newport Avenue Market Kicks Off Annual ‘Food For February’ Fundraiser

Cindy Tidball, program coordinator for Family Kitchen, and Newport Avenue Market co-owner Lauren Johnson, with some of the store’s fresh food donation last year.

Now in its third year, Oregon’s Newport Avenue Market’s “Food for February” kicked off Monday, with all donations again going to the Family Kitchen of Bend.

Throughout the month of December, customers who shop at Newport Avenue Market can donate any dollar amount they’d like, with the grocer matching 100 percent of the money raised dollar for dollar, up to $25,000 total. With last year’s donations amounting to $25,336.48, the market hopes to double the goal this year, reaching $50,000.

“This community continues to amaze us year (after) year with their generous giving during a significant time of need,” said Lauren Johnson, COO of Newport Avenue Market. “It’s hard to believe that post holiday, the month of February is historically one of the hardest-hitting months for hungry families in Central Oregon. Last year, the money raised helped to supply over 30,000 meals for our neighbors in Bend. This year we’re looking to shoot for the stars, and double that number to 60,000. We’re pretty confident in our rockstar customers that we can meet that goal.”

Last year’s donation supplied more than seven months worth of ingredients to fulfill more than 30,000 meals for the community members that Family Kitchen serves. Newport Avenue Market worked hand in hand with its warehouse, Unified Grocers, to selectively order hundreds of fresh foods, at wholesale prices, from Family Kitchen’s wish list. A total of 952 gallons of milk, 4,896 eggs, 300 pounds of quality lunch meats and 240 pounds of cheese were donated, among other items.

To participate, shoppers must come into the market anytime through Dec. 31, let the cashier know how much they’d like to donate for Food for February and write their name on the “paper plate” provided to be displayed in the store. Once results are in, they will be emailed to newsletter subscribers and posted on Newport Avenue Market’s Facebook page.

Photo: Newport Avenue Market’s Food for February campaign last year raised more than $25,000 for Family Kitchen of Bend.

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