Home » Oregon Employee-Owned Grocery Stores, Customers Fight Hunger

Oregon Employee-Owned Grocery Stores, Customers Fight Hunger

Newport Avenue Market

The demand for food continues to rise, and local organizations are relying on donations now more than ever. Four Central Oregon organizations that provide meals and food boxes received a boost recently thanks to customers and colleagues of Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s. Oregon Employee-Owned Grocery Stores, Customers Fight Hunger

Each December, shoppers at the three stores donate money to the Food for February fundraiser, and the 100 percent employee-owned markets match these funds. This year, the combined efforts raised $66,710.

As a result of the fundraiser, the funds raised will be used to purchase groceries at wholesale cost for Family Kitchen of Bend, Sisters Kiwanis Foodbank, Sisters Family Kitchen and Meals on Wheels of Central Oregon.

Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s teams work closely with their wholesalers to purchase thousands of pounds of food, including fresh produce and meat, from the shopping lists of the organizations.

“After back-to-back years of community struggle, our customer generosity shines bright,” said Lauren G.D. Redman, CEO of Rudy’s Markets Inc., which owns Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s. “Because of our customer’s kindness in December by giving to Food for February at the check stands, we’ve been able to reach our matching goal of $30,000 toward addressing hunger in Central Oregon.”

It is not commonly known that February is one of the hardest-hitting months for hungry families in Central Oregon. Money is tight after the holidays, donations dwindle and food pantries are depleted. 

Since 2011, Food for February has raised more than $411,500 for hungry families in Central Oregon, including $189,000 in matching funds from Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s. 

“We’re reaching even more of our neighbors who are experiencing houselessness, are living life on the edge financially or who need a place to feel some order in their life,” said Donna Burklo, program director for Family Kitchen. “During COVID, our to-go meals (now over 7,500 a month) are being delivered at a rate of 1,100 weekly to diners who can’t get to our meal site for one reason or another. Our partnership with Newport Avenue Market and their shoppers allows every diner, whether on-site or a delivery route, to feel as though someone cares enough to make good food available to all.” 

“Community partnerships are so essential to us,” said Teresa Hogue with Redmond Senior Center. “We are grateful to be included in the support offered by Oliver Lemon’s Market as we endeavor to provide nutritious, hot meals for those in need.”

Rudy’s Markets opened its flagship grocery store in 1976. Today, the company operates three locally founded, 100 percent employee-owned specialty grocery stores in Central Oregon: Newport Avenue Market in Bend, and Oliver Lemon’s in Sisters and Terrebonne.

Rudy’s Markets offers shoppers both mainstream and hard-to-find food items as well as kitchenware and unusual gifts. Its stores support local producers and offer an expansive selection of high-quality, in-demand food and beverage items, including more than 600 varieties of craft beer. For more details, go to newportavemarket.com or oliverlemons.com.

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