FOOD for Lane County

Oats Harvested for Food For Lane County

9-15 oat picEUGENE, Ore. — An unexpected partnership is helping solve the hunger problem in Lane County.

On Monday, farmers harvested 25,000 pounds of oats to be given to Food For Lane County.

The oats were planted in spring on 45 acres south of the Department of Corrections. The mental health facility signed a contract with FFLC to lease the land for 10 years for a dollar per year.

FFLC says a farmer across the street offered to plant and care for the crops every year.

“When an opportunity for us to keep our own donation dollars in our own county and pay a farmer to farm for us, it seemed like a really good solution to a food supply that we’re trying to solve,” said Beverlee Hughes, executive director of Food For Lane County.

Food For Lane County says they’ll have the oats processed by Grain Millers and turned into rolled oats, which will go out in the form of oatmeal.

Food Pantry Geared to Spanish Speakers

Food for Lane CountyEUGENE, Ore. — The FOOD for Lane County mobile pantry is opening its first ever pantry geared at Spanish speakers.

FOOD for Lane County says it’s actively working to get food to more Latino and Hispanic households in need.

Organizers say they’re hoping a pantry hosted by spanish speaking volunteers will help draw people in.

Anyone is allowed 16 pantry visits a year, but this visit does not count toward that total.

It will be held at the Casa de Luz Church on the 1200 block of Taney Street in the Bethel area from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5.

Local Lunch Gals Special: Eugene Foodies Potluck by Eugene Foodies Guest Writer!

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As an avid food lover and an advocate for supporting our local farmers and sustainable food growers, I (Lunch Gal Julia) have been a member of the Eugene Foodies! Facebook Group for several years, since there were approximately 26 members.  Being a member has afforded me a plethora of information from other members regarding the local food scene; like, which local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) offers a stellar variety of vegetables, or which markets carry specific local hard-to-find items, and even which restaurants offer the freshest foods, fastest service, best burgers, best french fries, best sushi – you name it, the list goes on and on.

A basket full of locally grown goodies from Organic Redneck Farms
A basket full of locally grown goodies from Organic Redneck Farms, a farm once discussed on the Eugene Foodies page

Over the years I’ve watched the group grow from its tightly knit group of just 26 to what is now over 2,600 (2,861 to be exact, as of May 23, 2014), and I’ve learned a great deal while forming friendships along the way.  When a celebration was suggested to commemorate the group reaching 1,000 members, everyone agreed on a potluck get together.  With the groups founder and administrator, Chris Calise, at the helm, a date was set, a space was rented and plans were solidified.

Although I had planned on attending and writing about the Eugene Foodies’ first official celebration, my plans were derailed at the last minute and I was unable to attend.  So, I turned to some of my Eugene Foodies friends for help.

Eugene Foodies! Founder chris Calise talks with other Foodie members during the very first Pot Luck get together
Eugene Foodies! Founder Chris Calise talks with other Foodie members during the very first Pot Luck get together

The very gracious and kind, Sherri McCutchen (an active member of the Eugene Foodies Group), offered to step in and cover the event with the help of Marilee Reyes, another active group member, who has a background in journalism.  Together they created this splendid piece about the event, and I am truly grateful for their contribution to my popular Local Lunch Gals column here on Eugene Daily News:

How does a Foodie Facebook group celebrate reaching 1000 members?  They have a potluck, of course!  The Eugene Foodies page was started by Chris Goodspace-Calise and his wife, Kathy Calise, in December 2009, as “A group of food lovers in Eugene, Oregon and surrounding areas. Dedicated to the local, sustainable bounty of wonderful food available in this area.”  Despite a mention in a Register-Guard article in March of 2010, membership hovered in the 300 range for several years – by early last summer, it was up to about 500 members.

Shrimp Ceviche
Shrimp Ceviche made by member BigDawg Occupy Occupy

Then something happened, and Chris found himself adding members daily.  By this January, it became clear that the group would reach 1000 members within just a month, which called for a celebration.  Chris suggested a potluck to showcase the many good home cooks and chefs in the group, first suggesting the Lamb Cottage as a venue, then settling on the Petersen Barn Community Center.  

Befitting for a group dedicated to food, it was decided that the potluck would also collect donations for the local non-profit organization Food for Lane County.  The date was set for Saturday, May 3.

So what do devoted Foodies bring to a potluck?  Some items would be recognized by any familiar potluck; for example, Egg Salad, by Kitte Knight.  Only this featured eggs from her own hens, handmade mayonnaise also featuring those eggs, and fresh herbs from her garden.  Was there Bean Salad?  You betcha.  But as envisioned by Marilee Reyes, this special bean salad also featured broccoli and other fresh vegetables.  There was a corn salad made by members Joe and Mandy Jostmeyer, starring fresh, grilled corn – quite a task when made in quantity, according to Joe’s comment on the Foodies page.

Robin Scotts beautiful Chocolate Cake
Robin Scotts beautiful Chocolate Cake

That may be where the small bit of similarity to church basement potluck ended.  Member Moose Joe Shaoui contributed Pork Rillettes, simmered in duck fat, covered with a wine gelee made from scratch; that is, he cooked down bones to make the gelatin.  A play on Surf and Turf was provided by Chris Calise: Sausage Ravioli in a Shrimp Alfredo Sauce.  An Offal treat was the dish shared by Ellen Brenner, who prepared what she called “Gateway Offal” (the “waste” parts of an animal, such as organs, head, etc.): Braised Beef Tongue (lengua, for Mexican food lovers) with all the accompaniments.  Foodies also enjoyed Shrimp Ceviche from member BigDawg Occupy Occupy, a delicious Luau chicken (redolent of the flavor of coconut) from Rachel Martinez, and a fresh and bright Spinach Salad with strawberries, almonds, and homemade poppyseed dressing provided by member Kallen Korin.  Desserts included Robin Scott’s Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with chocolate glaze and purple pansy garnish, Kathy Calise’s “Better Than Anything” cake; along with, chocolate chip cookies made with whole wheat flour from Skyeanna Malito.

The several dozen foodies that gathered discussed food, of course, like favorite meals and recipes, Eugene area restaurants past, present, and ones we all hope for, farms and CSAs and plans for future gatherings.  There are already monthly meet-ups at area restaurants planned on the last week of each month.  Coming up is a meet-up at Plank Town Brewing in Springfield, May 30, at 4:30 pm.  Subscribed dinners include Ox and Fin on June 26, and more exciting food-related events will soon be announced.

Cathy Calise: Better Than Anything Cake
Kathy Calise: Better Than Anything Cake

This Eugene Foodies event collected 105 pounds of donated goods for Food For Lane County.

While Eugene Foodies is a closed group to prevent SPAM (the non-food kind), all interested local food lovers may easily ask to join.  There are great benefits to being a member, where food-related conversations about recipes and restaurants flow, advice is sought and given, and loads of events are in the making.  Bon Appetit!

A little information about contributing writer, Sherri McCutchen:

As a native of New Orleans growing up with great cooks, I’ve been blessed to eat well my whole life; I knew what good food tasted like and appreciated it.  Although I was the only one in my family of three girls who didn’t cook – when I started college the freezer in my apartment was loaded with Banquet TV dinners.  I began to learn to create my own food, often cooking with friends.  In the early ’70s ingredients for Asian food were hard to find, but we enjoyed making dim sum and Szechuan dishes and searching out new hole-in-the wall restaurants.  After teaching for several years, I went back to school for an MBA in Hotel/Restaurant administration, met Chef Daniel Bonnot, began working in his kitchen at the Louis XVI Restaurant in the French Quarter, and never did get that degree.  It was inspiring to cook with such now-famous chefs as Susan Spicer and David Kinch.  I’ve cooked in a natural foods deli, a fraternity, an Italian deli, and a Mexican restaurant.  Eventually settling in Colorado, I ran the café at Naropa, the Buddhist college in Boulder – my German partner and I received a four-star review for our little place.  Being a mom ended my full-time career, although I catered for a while.  Both my sons, now in their twenties, loved growing up with Peking Duck as a regular meal and are now quite good cooks who love experimenting with food.  I love the variety of great food available in Eugene and the Northwest, and find lots of inspiration on the Eugene Foodies Facebook page, both for eating out and cooking in.

 

University of Oregon Food Drive

FOOD DRIVEEUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon is tackling hunger in Lane County this month. The campus wide campaign is part of the annual Governor’s State Employees Food Drive.

School leaders say last year they helped bring in nearly 160,000 pounds of food to Food for Lane County. The goal this year is 175,000 pounds.

“The importance is to know that we’re helping people in need and it gives all of us a focus that we know we’re helping Food for Lane County who really need it. Their resources are always being pushed to the limit,” said Karen Cheeland, UO Alumni Evens Manager.

The food drive ends Friday, but there are still events that day on campus to raise money.

Food Banks Push for Tax Credits

2-24 FOOD BANK TAX CREDITSEUGENE, Ore. — Local food banks and farmers could soon be benefiting from fresh produce donations. New legislation could provide tax credits for farmers who donate produce to local food banks, like Food for Lane County.

Those supporting the legislation say it’s a win-win for both those who grow the food and those who’d be receiving the donation.

It takes a lot of extra cost and labor to get food from a farm to the food bank.

“Sometimes it’s cheaper just to plow up a crop rather than harvest it,” said farmer Walter Johnson.

But that could soon change if legislation passes that would give tax credits to farmers who donate extra produce to food pantries.

“We could really use the extra bonus right now of having healthy food in our warehouse to help feed the increase in the number of people we’re seeing right now,” said Beverlee Hughes, Food for Lane County Executive Director.

Food for Lane County says there are farmers who regularly donate extra produce, but right now there’s just no incentive to do so.

“Donating food to the food bank is gratifying and to have a tax credit to help us out a little bit makes it more doable,” Johnson said.

In the past, Oregon had similar tax incentives for food donation, but they expired a few years ago and left food banks looking for fresh locally grown foods.

“We’ve seen a big increase in the amount of people coming our way and needs some assistance with food. We’re concerned about our food supply so if this crop donation tax credit passes it’s a nice incentive for farmers to donate crops at the end of their season,” Hughes said.

As the legislation works its way through the state legislature, food banks and farmers are hopeful it’ll pass before the short session ends.

“I feel like it’s a sure a lot nicer to know that someone is benefiting from the crop that I put effort into rather than just taking a mower and chopping it down and feeding the worms,” Johnson said.

The bill already passed through the Oregon Senate and will be presented in front of a house committee Tuesday.

FOOD For Lane County Wins New Van

Food for Lane County donationEUGENE, Ore. — Managers of a local food bank walked away with keys to a brand new Toyota van Thursday.

FOOD For Lane County beat out hundreds of other nonprofits in a national competition called 100 Cars for Good. The winner brought in the most votes on Facebook.

Thanks to all FOOD For Lane County’s supporters, the nonprofit now has the keys to a 2014 Sienna with a six-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

“We were over-the-moon excited. The whole process has been amazing to watch just from start to finish–the whole process to even win the car,” said Karen Edmonds, FOOD For Lane County.

Toyota even filled the trunk with food. The organization plans to use the new vehicle to deliver emergency food boxes to food pantries in rural area and serve seniors who can’t leave home.

Lane Blood Center & FOOD for Lane County 3 Lives – 3 Meals

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Lane Blood Center will be kicking off their September blood drive Tuesday, September 3, 2013, with a free hotdog BBQ at FOOD for Lane County located at 770 Bailey Hill Road from 10:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lane Blood Center reports that September is an exceptionally challenging month to get blood donations, as people are gearing up to get back to school.

Not only is it hard to collect blood during this time of year, but it proves to be harder to collect food as well.  The need for both never ceases.  Lane Blood Center and FOOD for Lane County are partnering once again in their 3 lives – 3 meals campaign.

Did you know that a pint of blood can save up to three lives? 

food for lane condyFor the entire month of September Lane Blood Center will keep track of every donation or those who attempt to donate (sometimes iron levels are too low or blood pressure may be too high to donate).  At the end of the month, they will total that number and for every donation, they will donate enough money to FOOD for Lane County to purchase 3 meals on behalf of each person who either gave or attempted to give blood.

Won’t you join them in their efforts to save lives?  Anyone who registers to donate blood at any of the locations will be counted.

To be eligible to give blood you need to be in general good health, at least 16 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.  Please bring your photo ID and remember to eat a good meal and drink plenty of water before your donation.

If you have any questions about donating, please do not hesitate to call Lane Blood Center, you are their top priority.

To schedule your life-saving appointment you can visit www-laneblood.org or call 541-484-9111

 

 

Moss Adams Closes Its Doors For The Day

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Moss Adams Celebrates 100 Years
Moss Adams Celebrates 100 Years

In celebration of their centennial anniversary, Moss Adams will be closing its doors for the day Wednesday, July 31, 2013, and give back to the community.  Moss Adams LLP provides accounting, tax and consulting services to public and private middle-market enterprises in many different industries. The company is headquartered in Seattle and was founded in 1913 with 22 locations throughout Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Kansas.

This year the employees have already donated more than 400 hours volunteering their time. Approximately 70 employees (including the corporate level) will be spending their normal workday volunteering at these 4 separate locations;

Northwest Youth Corps. located at 2621 Augusta Street in Eugene – 20 employees will help to plant, fertilize, transplant, build compost sites, weed, clear and harvest Laurel Valley Educational Farm.

Eugene/Springfield Habitat for Humanity – 15 employees will help to paint and install siding for the 50th house Springfield/Eugene Habitat for Humanity has built in the Eugene/Springfield area.  The house is located at 3608 Yogi Way in Eugene.

Looking Glass Youth and Family Services located at 1666 W 12th Avenue in Eugene – 10 employees will help to paint and landscape Riverfront School & Career Center.

FOOD for Lane County Youth Farm located at 705 Flamingo in Springfield – 20 employees will help weed, clear, harvest and plant at their Youth Farm.

moss adams ll
Samantha McClanahan
Jen Weiss and Alicia Andrews

“We have always volunteered in our community – individually and through quarterly volunteer events (normally in the evenings).  But we wanted to do something special to celebrate our centennial anniversary”,   Michelle Meador, Sales and Marketing Manager of Moss Adams.

I spoke with Greg Gibson, an employee of Moss Adams about his experience volunteering.  He has volunteered with FOOD for Lane County a few different times, as well as with other organizations.  Not just because he is an employee of Moss Adams, he does this on his own time as well.

“It’s good.  Volunteering is a great way to meet different people throughout the community.  I am involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  It’s great to volunteer with kids, to see how they grow.  I have volunteered as a Black Jack dealer with CASA for their annual fundraiser last year. That was pretty interesting”.

Greg Gibson
Micah Clinger

In speaking with both Greg and Michelle, it seems as though many of the employees are not only volunteering tomorrow, but do so in their every day lives.  There are many opportunities to volunteer your time in your community.  I asked Greg how he became interested in volunteering, and how someone could get started.

“Michelle actually is the one who got me interested in it.  I donated my accounting time and then it just spiraled from there.  If you are interested in volunteering, you can stop by and talk to them, FOOD for Lane County for example, I am sure they would never say no, there are many different ways you can donate your time.  Take a tour of the facility.  It is a great way to meet people interested in the same things you are interested in”.

If you would like to head out to any of the locations above please feel free to do so.  The volunteers from Moss Adams will be the ones in the Bright Red T-Shirts!

Eugene Daily News would like to congratulate Moss Adams and their employees on their centennial anniversary, and our hats are off to you as you have decided to celebrate in such a wonderful way… Giving back.

 

Food Bank Introduces New Model In Cottage Grove

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Food for Lane County

Food For Lane County is helping launch a revolutionary way to address year-round hunger in the community of Cottage Grove. Under the leadership of Community Sharing Program, the South Lane Food Project is intended to be an easy way to help hungry neighbors.

“We are excited to have a partner taking on this project,” says Alicia Hines, FFLC Food Resource Developer. “The concept is very simple. Volunteers called Neighborhood Coordinators enlist their neighbors to donate food once every two months, the bags are collected and brought to Community Sharing’s food pantry.”

Based on a similar project that began in Ashland in 2009, the model is now thriving in more than 20 communities across the United States. In Ashland alone, more than 400,000 pounds of food have been collected in the last four years.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for our community to join together to help us alleviate hunger,” said Mike Fleck, Director of Community Sharing, “We live in a wonderful community filled with people who want to help; the South Lane Food Project will make it easy.”

AFP-BagThe Food Donors will be provided with a reusable, green South Lane Food Project grocery bag to fill with nonperishable food, then once every other month, beginning in August, Food Donors put the filled bags on their porch for collection. A new bag will be left with the donor and the cycle starts again.

Community Sharing is now filling these important volunteer roles and is hosting informational meetings about the South Lane Food Project for anyone who wants to help or learn more about the project:

Tuesday, July 9th,10:00-11:00 AM Cottage Grove Community Center
Saturday, July 13th,10:00-11:00 AM Cottage Grove Community Center
Tuesday, July 16th, 6:00-7:00 PM Stacy’s Covered Bridge Restaurant

For more information contact:

Alicia Hines, FFLC, 503-351-6385 cell, or Mike Fleck, CSP, 541-942-2176 office

Hopped Up

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Once a year the best food of Eugene is all in one place to raise money for Food For Lane County. The event, Chef’s Night Out at the Hult Center, draws a crowd of over 1,000 people. Each ticket sold goes to directly fight hunger here in our neighborhood, so not only you get to drink and eat, but you can feel slightly better about yourself at the same time.  With unlimited bites, desserts, beer and wine, this event was the place to be.

 

It’s a good thing it lasts for multiple hours, since on every level there was something new I couldn’t wait to try.  There were the tried and true delicious favorites from classic Eugene restaurants such as Sweet Waters, Marche Provisions, King Estate and Sweet Life. I was pleasantly surprised by my a few of favorites from the night including the bites from the MLK Culinary Arts and Catering, part of the MLK Education center that works with youth who currently have an active case with Lane County Youth Services, and the delicious Govinda’s Vegetarian Buffet that won best vegetarian food of the night.  Of course, the best part of the night for a craft beer and food obsessed person such as myself was seeing how the experts paired their bites with beer. Falling Sky and Hop Valley both amazed us with unique crostini’s paired with two delicious, but totally different craft beers.

Hop Valley's Alpha Centauri Binary IPA is always a favorite.
Hop Valley’s Alpha Centauri Binary IPA is always a favorite.

 

So how do you pair food and beer?  The key is to find dominant flavors that are complimentary.  Not unlike wine pairing, you want something that helps to cleanse the palate, but doesn’t overwhelm the dish. As a general guide, hoppy beers balance sweet rich foods, and sweeter maltier beers balance spicy or acidic foods.  You can also go in the exact opposite direction and match strengths- so pairing an IPA with a spicy dish like curry can work really well too. Of course, I’m not the expert.  So here are some tips from the pros at Falling Sky and Hop Valley with the dishes they brought to Chef’s Night Out.

 

At Hop Valley’s table we tasted a dry Hopped Pastrami on Rye paired with the Alpha Centauri Binary IPA.  House cured Pastrami with DD Blonde Ale, a blend of seasoning and a few Styrian Golding Hops from Slavonia thrown in just for fun was the main flavor.  Gruyere cheese, garlic, and dill marinated cucumber topped a stout, rye crostini with caraway and fennel.   This pairing worked great.  You can always rely on a meat dish tasting great with an IPA.  Additionally, the cheese and crostini brought out more of the malts in the IPA, which really helped balance the whole dish.

 

Falling Sky brought the delicious Zig Zag smoked ale.
Falling Sky brought the delicious Zig Zag smoked ale.

From Falling Sky they brought a delicious smoke white fish salad with pickled mustard seeds on a rye crostini that was paired with their Zig-Zag smoked ale. Zig Zag is a deep rich colored Old style Ale with rich malty flavors and a lightly smoked aroma.  Smoked Ales aren’t that popular here in the states, but they can be great with food pairings since they have such a deep flavor profile.  Falling Sky describes Zig-Zag as a pork’n’pints beer, and I agree with their beer pairing recommendations 100%. This pairing from Chef’s Night Out is one I’m definitely going to try to replicate at home.

 

If you’re getting hungry after reading this and thinking about how to pair your next meal, remember that the most important thing is to drink what you like. Every beer is different, even within each style, so there are few to none hard and fast rules with beer and food. Just make sure you invite your friends, pack a few extra craft brews, and hopefully you’ll share the recipe with me if it’s a success!

 

Cheers,
Lana