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Central Oregon Grocers Raise Nearly $67K for Hunger Relief

Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s shore up assistance during difficult time of year
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Newport store 1
Nonprofit organizations in Central Oregon have been helped by checkstand campaigns at two Rudy's Markets banners.

Underscoring the importance of community and business contributions in combating hunger, the Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s banners of Rudy’s Markets, Inc. in Central Oregon recently raised more than $66,700 for local food pantries and banks.

The employee-owned grocers spearheaded a “Food for February” campaign in December. Each market matched the funds raised by shoppers during the month-long effort.

Proceeds from the campaign will enable the retailers’ teams to purchase groceries at wholesale cost for several nonprofit organizations. Beneficiaries include the Family Kitchen of Bend, Sisters Kiwanis Foodbank, Sisters Family Kitchen and Meals on Wheels of Central Oregon.

“After back-to-back years of community struggle, our customer generosity shines bright,” said Lauren G.D. Redman, CEO of Rudy’s Markets. “Because of our customers’ kindness in December by giving to Food for February at the checkstands, we’ve been able to reach our matching goal of $30,000 towards addressing hunger in Central Oregon.”

According to Redman, the fundraiser for February food distribution was created to help address food insecurity at a tough time of year for many families, following the costly holiday season and the typical slowdown in donations that happens in January and February.

Donna Burklo, program director for Family Kitchen, said the receiving organizations appreciate the ways in which Newport Avenue Market and Oliver Lemon’s and their customers have stepped up to help during their own challenging times. "We're reaching even more of our neighbors who are experiencing houselessness, are living life on the edge financially, or who need a place to feel some order in their life,” she remarked. “During COVID, our to-go meals — now over 7,500 a month — are being delivered at a rate of 1,100 weekly to diners who can't get to our meal site for one reason or another. Our partnership with Newport Avenue Market and their shoppers allows every diner, whether on-site or a delivery route, to feel as though someone cares enough to make good food available to all."

Founded in 1976, Rudy’s Markets operates three locally-founded 100% employee-owned specialty grocery stores in Oregon, including Newport Avenue Market in Bend and Oliver Lemon's in Sisters and Terrebonne.  

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