ASHLAND FOOD ANGELS – WHAT WE ACTUALLY DO
The work of the Ashland Food Angels has changed somewhat in the twenty-two years we have been in operation. For the first five years the main focus was to collect food for the Northwest Seasonal Workers to give out to their member families, and the work was done almost entirely by Pamala Joy. Donations to Uncle Food’s Diner, Head Start and the Senior Center started sometime during the ’90’s, and other recipients were added over time.
Beginning in 2000, friends began helping Pamala and the ranks of helpers grew to nearly 60 at one point. Finding this unwieldy, Pamala pared down to half that number and currently there are about twenty regular volunteers, ranging in age from 20 to late 60’s.
Volunteers generally contribute four to six hours per week, though Pamala regularly works 20 to 35 hours weekly. No one is paid for their work, and several of the volunteers have been part of the Angel group for many years. Equally divided between men and women, the team consists of students, retirees, people with full time jobs and those working part time, some unemployed people, artists and professionals.
Currently, we have morning, evening and some afternoon collections of food, which goes primarily to the Ashland Food Bank and the two main community meals. We also collect clothing and household items daily from the Hospice Boutique and other sources, and these are sent to various organizations in Ashland and Medford for distribution.
A Core Group of eight volunteers meets once or twice a month to sort out problems and plan for the upcoming weeks, ensuring that all work shifts are covered and everyone is receiving the help that is needed.
Pamala Joy, Founder of Food Angels
Watch for interviews of the volunteer “Food Angels”.