While all assistance programs in Deschutes County depend on availability of resources, the Salvation Army may be able to help low income and working poor families address basic needs. The agency can have food, funds for paying rent or energy bills, prescription medications and more. Of course all of this aid will come with conditions and income levels need to be met. In addition, most clients from the Deschutes region will also need to enroll into self-sufficiency type programs, including job training.
Many of the programs are seasonal in nature, such as Christmas assistance and school supplies. Examples of these resources include the Angel Tree for free gifts and toys. Other holiday resources include free meals and also the Adopt a Family program.
School supplies provided by the Salvation Army and its partners can include crayons, pens, paper, rulers, folders, erasers, backpacks, and shoes. It is important for children to go to school feeling confident and having the proper clothes can help make this happen. So the Salvation Army will try to meet that need too. Many volunteers and retailers donate to the Salvation Army Back-to-School program. It can help children and students fill their backpacks with new, yet free, school supplies and provide them to area families in need.
Utility bill and heating assistance is offered. Mostly due to the weak economy and the escalating prices of electricity, many families from Deschutes Oregon struggle to pay their utility bills. Hundreds of families are usually faced with the possibility of having their water service or energy shut off. The Salvation Army does what it can to help those individuals who qualify for assistance. They work with the city of Bend, utility companies, and other non-profits and charities in the region. They may be able able to offer temporary energy and water bill assistance, however the availability of funding varies widely from office to office and even from month to month.
Ending hunger is a priority. The Salvation Army will do what it can in order to ensure no one goes days on end without a healthy, decent meal. Many people from the community can't pay for basic food, not to mention baby formula or other more expensive items. Pantries in Bend and Deschutes County provide food assistance and groceries in the form of boxes, hot meals, fruits, and holiday gift baskets.
Each box is filled with donated groceries from people in the community, churches, or even local grocers. Those residents who qualify for a Salvation Army food box may receive perishable and non-perishable items and a variety of other healthy food options.
As indicated, serving meals during the holidays is also a priority. The organization will help families and children have a blessed, joyful and bountiful holiday season. The Salvation Army of Deschutes County will do their best to provide everyone who comes to them with goodies, toys and maybe even a Christmas dinner. Most of the aid is offered to people who would otherwise not have been able to enjoy a meal without assistance. Volunteers are always needed during the holidays to sort and collect the donated food and distribute boxes to the low income.
Pantries are located in most major Oregon counties. Some of what is requested, and which may be provided, includes Milk and other other dairy products, Meat (canned or frozen), Fresh produce including fruits and vegetables, Diapers, Cereal, Diabetic specific meals, ready to eat meals, such as macaroni & cheese and canned soup, rice and bread. Other items at the pantry can include Toilet Paper/ Paper Towels, Personal Items such as shampoo, lotion, soap, diapers etc.
The Deschutes County center can be reached at (541) 389-8888.
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