FOOD ANGELS HARD AT WORK BUT FACING DANGER OF CLOSING – Pamala Joy

The Ashland Food Angels are facing an urgent situation with the proposed cell tower at 390 Stadium Drive, less than 300 meters from their base of operations.  This tower, also very close to Head Start, Walker Elementary School and the SOU dorms, will likely make it too challenging for director Pamala Joy to continue living and working there.  As there is no other work site and no one to step into Pamala’s shoes, the project will likely be closed indefinitely, a great loss to the City of Ashland, which has benefited from the services of this non-profit since 1995.

Your help is greatly needed to change the course of these events.  Please write to Bill Molnar and those at the Ashland Planning Department and tell them that you oppose the location of this tower.  Ask them to change the AT&T (Smart Link) application from a Type 1 to a Type 2 Land Use application, providing more public input and discussion.  Please do this immediately as the window for public comment is very short.  Email to:  bill.molnar@ashland.or.us and to: planning@ashland.or.us and ask them to do all they can to prevent this tower from going up.

Since the advent of social distancing and extra protection relating to the Corona virus, the Ashland Food Angels have been hard at work, gathering extra food for the community meals sponsored by Peace House.  From a once weekly meal in the Wesley Hall of the Methodist Church, the program has expanded to four days a week: on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, meals are delivered in bags to five locations around Ashland, feeding over 75 people daily.  By next week there will be 100 meals given out daily and most of the food is supplied by the Ashland Food Angels, gathered from donations by Market of Choice, Ashland Food Co-op, Shop N Kart and local farmers.

Though taking extra precautions such as masks, gloves, keeping distance, reducing the number of people on site, and wiping surfaces with bleach water, the Food Angels have not missed a day in their efforts to be sure that food goes to people rather than the landfills. In addition to the many boxes of food going to the chefs who prepare the free meals, a great deal of food is also sent to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank to keep it supplied for those picking up boxes of food there.  Although people are no longer able to go inside the Food Bank, they are given boxes of food made up by volunteers, handed to them at the door.

Numbers are down for recipients at the Food Bank, but increasing for those who pick up the bagged meals at the destinations set by Peace House: the woodlot at the north end of town, Hersey Street, Lithia Park, Triangle Park and Clay Street.  Pamala Joy works closely with Maren Faye, who is in charge of the Peace House bagged meals.  This schedule will hold in place until at least the end of May.  In the meanwhile, Joy and her Angels are working to find a way to avert the problem with the cell tower.  Please help by sending your letters to the planning department, talking to friends and holding the vision that Food Angels will be able to continue without harm

//inserted by Sharon