Local organization is keeping 2,800 Almeda Fire victims fed, while helping local businesses

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. — A local organization is helping fire victims stay full with a ‘community-driven’ meal prep and delivery program, that also keeps some of the valley’s restaurants and farmers busy.

I spoke with one of the program’s collaborators who says at least 2,800 meals are being given out breakfast, lunch and dinner through Rogue Food Unites since the Almeda Fire displaced so many.

“The call for help was too great to ignore,” said collaborator for Rogue Food Unites, Adam Danforth.

The organization is connecting local farms with local restaurants to create meals to be given out to fire victims at various distribution centers.
So far, over 30 restaurants are involved.

“This is a level 7 disaster according to the Red Cross, which is the highest level it can be, so we’re really looking at wide-spread damage and long-term support – so we need as many participating restaurants as possible,” says Danforth.

He says the program is closely keeping track of the meals given out to prevent any food waste.

Rico Velazquez is participating in the program, he owns a taco truck that you’ll typically see in the Ray’s parking lot in Talent.
“It’s really sad, because you see the amount of people who come to you and in your mind you’re like, all these people have no house,” said Velazquez. He wanted to get involved to help right away, he’s been making breakfast burritos for fire victims for over a week now.

“From last Monday through today, about 120 burritos everyday. I start working 3 am and stop working 7 pm,” Velazquez says.

Danforth says Rogue Foods Unite is also working with the Phoenix-Talent School District to make sure children are getting dinners and weekend meals.

“There’s no one person this is created by or is making this happen, this is a community wide effort,” said Danforth.

Rogue Food Unites is working in collaboration with United Way of Jackson County and Red Cross.

If you’re wanting to get involved with the program or want to learn more about it, visit roguefoodunites.org.

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