Volunteers Make a Difference in our Community: Ashland Food Angels


We are fortunate to live in abundant times and an abundant nation, in which food and clothing are readily available. Unfortunately, we also live in a very wasteful culture, which discards useful items at an alarming rate, including usable food, despite the fact that many either go hungry or are insecure in their food needs.  It was with the combined incentive of redirecting food to those in need, as well as reducing the amount that was headed to the landfills, that I began in 1995 the project that has come to be known as The Ashland Food Angels.

Though a relatively small operation, maintained by about twenty unpaid volunteers, including myself, we collect and distribute over a quarter million pounds of food yearly, and likely more than that in clothing and household goods.  Our main recipients are other Ashland non-profits:  the Emergency Food Bank, Uncle Food’s Diner and other community meals.  We also give weekly to HeadStart, Jackson County Fuel Committee and the winter shelters for the homeless.

Focusing mainly on produce, we are grateful to have the support of the Ashland Food Coop, Market of Choice, Shop ‘N’ Kart, and, in season, many local farmers, as well as the Little Shop of Bagels and other local bakeries.  Operating seven days a week, on a very small shoestring out of a very small donated space, we have managed for over twenty years to provide food and clothing for tens of thousands of people in this area.  It is indeed a demonstration of what a small group of dedicated people can do to help to weave a community together by providing basic necessities to those in need.

Pamala Joy

Ashland Food Angels
Grassroots Volunteer Food Retrieval Program