This year we are inviting customers once again to be a part of Zupan’s Thanksgiving Food Box program. We will be creating 500 boxes for Portland families. Each box feeds a family of 6-8 people and costs just $20, thanks to the relationships and donations by Zupan’s vendors and items provided by the Sunshine Division.
Donations in any amount will be accepted at the register through Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, we will continue to take donations for the Sunshine Division through December 31, which will help to provide food for their programs throughout the next year.
Zupan’s Markets is proud to have partnered with the Sunshine Division for over 27 years, helping to provide year-round food donations. In addition, 15 years ago the Thanksgiving Food Box Program was established to provide local families with a Thanksgiving meal. This program is funded solely by Zupan’s Markets and would not exist without the donations from Zupan’s customers and associates. Food for the boxes is purchased by Zupan’s Markets and packed on the Friday before Thanksgiving by Zupan’s associates.
For the past 98 years, Sunshine Division has been providing emergency food relief to local families and individuals at no cost. Thanks to its partnership with Portland Police Bureau, Sunshine Division is the only non-profit in Portland that provides 24/7 food assistance. This partnership allows the Sunshine Division to address hunger issues 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. In times of crisis, anyone in Portland can call the police non-emergency line to receive a Sunshine Division food box at any time, day or night (when all other resources are closed).
The long-term economic impact of COVID-19 has driven thousands of people and families to seek food assistance, many for the first time. To meet this need, Sunshine Division found an innovative way to safely provide food assistance for struggling members of our community by expanding and launching its emergency food delivery program in April 2020. This program transports boxes of nutritious food every week to people who are homebound and/or are medically fragile. Since April 2020, Sunshine Division’s emergency home food delivery program has brought more than 6 million meals to over 66,000 local households.
Sunshine Division has also adapted its special programs to fit the constraints of COVID-19, ensuring that children in need continue to receive free clothing and school supplies through its Izzy’s Kids program. It also provides free meals to students experiencing some form of homelessness at Community Transitional School to give these students a stable food source to get through the weekend.
The non-profit also offers several food assistance services to help make food more accessible to those that need support. In November 2017, Sunshine Division opened a second food pantry that is open 5 days a week at 12436 SE Stark to address the growing need for healthy and nutritious food in outer East Portland. Its N Thompson food pantry is open 6 days a week too. Both of Sunshine Division’s food pantries allow clients to access food that fits their family’s dietary and cultural needs.
Sunshine Division is currently serving 4 times the number of families it usually does, and it anticipates this increased need for at least the next 2 to 3 years.
.90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to supporting Sunshine Division’s programs. The non-profit organization has received eight consecutive 4-out-of-4 star ratings by Charity Navigator for fiscal transparency and efficiency. This rating ranks them among the top 4% of charities nationwide for program efficiency.
This winter, Sunshine Division will celebrate its 99th year in a row of giving bountiful holiday food boxes to our neighbors in need to help make the season brighter. Sunshine Division will provide over a half-million pounds of food to those in our community who need it the most this November and December. That’s more than 30,000 households that will have a nourishing meal to look forward to over the holidays!