FOSD, community helping out with food packs

Prairie View Elementary School second-grader Lauryn Bechen and her mom, Erin, made note cards with these encouraging messages to put into the FOSD food packs last week.

With more and more families in financial distress due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Friends of the Oregon School District (FOSD) are doing more than ever to help feed those in need.

As demand rises, they’re looking for people to focus their help on financial donations during this time of social distancing.

Oregon school board and FOSD board member Krista Flanagan said the group is now providing food packs to more than 260 kids (125 families) in the district; an increase of 40% growth over what they had been providing earlier in the school year.

She said during the first two weeks of April, the group raised $25,000 through online and mail-in donations, ranging from $5 to a matching grant for the first $5,000.

“(It) included individuals donating to us a portion of their stimulus check,” Flanagan wrote the Observer in an email last week. “The amazing news through all of this is how our community has circled their arms around our students and their families by donating. We are incredibly thankful and grateful to the community for the widespread support of this program and the families we are helping.”

The food packs have traditionally gone out to students over school breaks, but started in mid-March to help families during the school closings, when students would normally get meals during the school day. Each includes two weeks worth of breakfast, snacks and lunch, as well as some family dinner foods. In addition, FOSD has partnered with area pizza places to provide coupons with free pizza and delivery.

FOSD members deliver the food packs to the district, whose staff then deliver them directly to the families. Every dollar contributed goes directly to the FOSD Food Pack Program to provide food packs through the remainder of what would have been the school year, Flanagan said.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at