Community rallies around Florence Food Share

New corporate programs and a slew of donations help the local program

Friday, Nov. 10 — After Florence Food Share’s financial difficulties were brought to light last week following a dearth of cash donations and changing corporate sponsorships, the nonprofit has seen a rash of donations and support from local corporations.

“Since then, the community has stepped up and the donations have been pouring in all week,” Florence Food Share Executive Director Norma Barton said. “Thank you, Florence community.”

In addition, two major companies in town have promised major donations within the coming months.

Florence manufacturer Top Hydraulics Inc. will be a second sponsor of Cindy Wobbe’s 18th annual Pounding for Florence Food Share, which will be held next Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grocery Outlet.

“For every pound of food donated on that day, Top Hydraulics will donate $1,” Barton said. “That means, for this year only, along with our original anonymous donor, we will have a two-for-one match. For every pound of food donated at the Pounding fundraiser, Florence Food Share will receive $2.”

Three Rivers Casino Resort, which had put its philanthropic endeavors on hold while going through a corporate reorganization, announced this week that it will be using its Tuesday night Progressive Jackpot Bingo promotion to raise food donations for food share.

Beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 14, individuals will be able to bring three cans of food for one extra bingo card, once from noon to 3 p.m. and again from 6 to 9 p.m.

“The promotion is set up without an end date,” Three Rivers Director of Consumer Marketing Richard Colton said.

While it’s possible the promotion itself may end if it doesn’t bring interest, Colton said giving to the food share will always be a priority of the casino.

“It will be really easy to move it to another promotion that is working well for us, so we can continue to support Florence Food Share,” he said.

Three Rivers will also continue its Toy and Food Drive through Thursday, Dec. 14, which will allow Players Club members to bring in unwrapped toys or three cans of food to receive $5 in free play.

“We’d like to give a great big thank you to Three Rivers Casino for providing another way their participants can help out Florence Food Share,” Barton said.

The food share also received cash donations from individuals and corporations from around the region.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, Sam Spayd, Volunteer Kettle Coordinator for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, announced the Army of Western Lane County will be giving $2,000 to the food share.

“This is a wonderfully generous gift and comes at a time when Florence Food Share is truly in need,” Barton said. “Thank you, Salvation Army.”

Because of the multiple donations that have come through, Barton stated Food Share was able to repay the $20,000 line of credit it had taken out earlier in the month. That line of credit was needed to help support the program’s operational costs throughout the holiday.

While the cash donations have put Florence Food Share in the black for now, funds are still needed throughout the year, particularly after the holidays.

“The need for continued operational funds remains strong,” Barton said.

Donations can be accepted online at; checks can be sent to: P.O. Box 2514, Florence, Oregon, 97439; and donors can hand deliver their food or cash donations directly to the pantry at 2190 Spruce St. between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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