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 $20, thanks to the relationships and donations by Zupan’s vendors and items provided by the Sunshine Division.
Donations in any amount will be accepted at the register through Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, we will continue to take donations for the Sunshine Division through December 31, which will help to provide food for their programs throughout the next year.
Zupan’s Markets is proud to have partnered with the Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division for over 25 years, helping to provide year-round food donations. In addition, 12 years ago the Thanksgiving Food Box Program was established to provide local families with a Thanksgiving meal. This program is funded solely by Zupan’s Markets and would not exist without the donations from Zupan’s customers and associates. Food for the boxes is purchased by Zupan’s Markets and packed on the Monday before Thanksgiving by Zupan’s associates. Boxes are then distributed by the Sunshine Division staff.
For the past 96 years the Sunshine Division has been providing food and clothing assistance to local families and individuals at no-cost. They are the only police-initiated food relief nonprofit partnering closely with first responders. This partnership allows the Sunshine Division to address hunger issues 24/7. In times of crisis anyone in Portland can call the police non-emergency line to receive a Sunshine Division food box at any time, day or night (when all other resources are closed).
Since 2012, the SD has increased the amount of clients they’ve served by 35.6%. Despite that increase, they still maintain an unusually high efficiency rating of 91% ($.91) of every dollar goes directly into program services). They have received six consecutive 4-out-of-4 star ratings by charity watchdog Charity Navigator for fiscal transparency and efficiency. No other food relief nonprofit in Oregon has received such a high designation. This rating ranks them among the top 6% of charities nationwide for program efficiency.
The Sunshine Division is more than just a food bank, or a place to “house” food. They also offer 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 and clothing room facility (four days a week) at 12436 SE Stark to address the growing needs of outer East Portland in a neighborhood known as a “food desert”. Their N Thompson food pantry is open 6 days a week allowing clients to access food that fits their family’s dietary and cultural needs. They deliver food boxes to the doors of households during the holidays, offer a summer food box program to address the absence of free and reduced school meals for kids during the summer months, as well as offer food box programs assisting veterans and active military families. In addition, they work side-by-side with Portland Police Bureau officers in a first-responder capacity, bringing food to the families who need emergency assistance at times when they can’t access food on their own.